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UK PM Sunak calls for restraint on all sides after Iran's destabilising attack

PTI |
Apr 15, 2024 09:22 PM IST

UK PM Sunak calls for restraint on all sides after Iran's destabilising attack

London, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday accused Iran of “sowing chaos” in the Middle East as he updated the British Parliament on the UK’s actions following Tehran’s “barrage of 300 missiles and drones” targeted at Israel over the weekend.

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The British Indian leader praised the bravery of the country’s Royal Air Force pilots who joined US-led forces to shoot down a number of Iranian drones, as he confirmed that the UK provided important intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support in the operation alongside allies. He reiterated his previous statement to condemn Iran’s “reckless and dangerous escalation” in the region and called on all sides to show restraint.

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“With this attack, Iran has once again shown its true colours. They are intent on sowing chaos in their own backyard, on further destablising the Middle East,” Sunak told the Commons.

“We are working urgently with our allies to de-escalate the situation and prevent further bloodshed. We want to see calmer heads prevail,” he said, adding that he would be speaking to his Israeli counterpart later on Monday.

“I will also shortly be speaking to Prime Minister Netanyahu to express our solidarity with Israel in the face of this attack, and to discuss how we can prevent further escalation. All sides must show restraint,” he said.

Sunak highlighted three priorities going ahead: upholding regional security, pursuing the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, and increasing the supply of aid to people in Gaza.

“Our aim is to support stability and security because it is right for the region and because although the Middle East is thousands of miles away, it has a direct effect on our security and prosperity at home,” he noted.

“I want to be clear, nothing that has happened over the last 48 hours changes our position on Gaza,” he said.

The Parliament statement came a day after the Chargé d’Affaires of the Iranian Embassy in London was summoned to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on the instruction of UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

“The UK condemns in the strongest terms Iran’s direct and unprecedented attack against Israel, as well as their violation of Jordan and Iraq’s airspace. At a time of great tension in the Middle East, this was a profoundly dangerous and unnecessary escalation by Iran,” an FCDO spokesperson said.

“The Iranian authorities must take meaningful and immediate action to de-escalate and halt its reckless and unlawful behaviour,” the spokesperson said.

Cameron later told the BBC the attack was a "double defeat" for Iran that could have resulted in thousands of casualties and led to greater escalation had it been successful. He urged Israel to be "smart" and "tough" as it considers its response.

"Now is the time to be smart as well as tough, a time to think with head as well as heart,” he said, stressing that the UK did not support a retaliatory strike, echoing US President Joe Biden's comment that Israel should "take the win".

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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