• Thursday, May 30, 2024

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Sunak calls for restraint in Middle East following Iran’s attack on Israel

“This recent assault by Iran demonstrates their persistent agenda of disruption in the Middle East,” Sunak said.

Rishi Sunak

By: Vivek Mishra

In an address to the parliament, prime minister Rishi Sunak strongly criticised Iran for launching an attack that sent 300 missiles and drones towards Israel, describing Iran as a nation “intent on creating disorder” in the Middle East.

On Monday, he commended the Royal Air Force pilots who, in collaboration with US-led forces, successfully intercepted several Iranian drones. He also confirmed the UK’s role in providing critical intelligence and reconnaissance support to allies during this operation.

Sunak said that the attack demonstrated Iran’s continuing strategy of chaos and destabilisation in the region, which he had previously denounced as “reckless and dangerous.” He appealed for moderation from all involved parties.

“This recent assault by Iran demonstrates their persistent agenda of disruption in the Middle East,” Sunak said in the House of Commons. “We are coordinating closely with our allies to de-escalate the situation and avert further violence. It is essential for cooler heads to prevail,” he added. He revealed plans for a discussion with his Israeli counterpart later that day to reinforce UK’s solidarity with Israel and explore strategies to curb further tensions.

“I will be conversing with Prime Minister Netanyahu shortly to reaffirm our support for Israel in these trying times and to consider additional steps to prevent escalation. It is crucial for all parties to exercise restraint,” he said.

Moving forward, Sunak outlined the UK’s three primary objectives: ensuring regional security, advocating for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, and boosting humanitarian aid to Gaza residents.

“Our goal is to foster stability and security in the region, not just because it is the correct stance for the Middle East, but because it impacts our safety and economic well-being here at home,” Sunak said. He further clarified that recent events have not altered the UK’s stance concerning Gaza.

The announcement in Parliament followed the previous day’s diplomatic response, where the Chargé d’Affaires of the Iranian Embassy in London was summoned to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as instructed by UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

“The UK vehemently condemns Iran’s direct and unparalleled attack on Israel and their breach of airspace over Jordan and Iraq. During a period of heightened tension, Iran’s actions represent a deeply dangerous and unnecessary intensification,” said an FCDO spokesperson.

The spokesperson urged Iran to undertake significant and swift measures to de-escalate and cease its perilous activities. In a subsequent BBC interview, Cameron described the attack as a “double defeat” for Iran, potentially leading to extensive casualties and further escalations if it had succeeded. He advised Israel to adopt a judicious and robust approach in its response, reflecting US President Joe Biden’s recommendation for Israel to “take the win.”

(PTI)

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