‘Serious escalation’: World reacts to Iran’s drone, missile raids on Israel

World leaders express fear the conflict could lead to further escalation in the region, calling for all sides to exercise restraint.

Objects are seen in the sky above Jerusalem after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, in Jerusalem April 14, 2024.
Objects are seen in the sky above Jerusalem after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel [Ronen Zvulun/Reuters]

The international community has reacted with alarm after Iran launched explosive drones and fired missiles at Israel in its first direct attack on Israeli territory.

Tehran had been threatening to attack Israel after an air raid on April 1, widely blamed on Israel, destroyed Iran’s consulate in Syria, killing 13 people, including two elite Iranian generals.

The Israeli forces said in a statement early on Sunday the “vast majority” of missiles launched from Iran were intercepted outside of Israel’s borders.

Tensions between Israel and Iran have soared since Israel’s six-month war in the Gaza Strip.

Here is how the world reacted to Iran’s retaliatory attacks on Israel:


The office of President Javier Milei expressed its “solidarity and unwavering commitment” to Israel in the face of the attacks.

It added that Argentina “emphatically supports the State of Israel in the defence of its sovereignty, especially against regimes that promote terror”, noting an Argentinian court recently held Iran responsible for bomb attacks on the Israeli embassy and a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in the 1990s.

men raise their arms at a protest at night with palestinian flags
Iranian demonstrators react after the IRGC attack on Israel during an anti-Israeli gathering in front of the British embassy in Tehran [Majid Asgaripour/West Asia News Agency via Reuters]


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying it follows “with grave preoccupation” the news that Iranian drones and missiles were sent to Israel.

It noted that Brazil has been warning the international community, since the beginning of the war on Gaza that the conflict could spread throughout the region.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa that his country “unequivocally condemns Iran’s airborne attacks”, adding: “We stand with Israel.”

“After supporting Hamas’s brutal October 7 attack, the Iranian regime’s latest actions will further destabilise the region and make lasting peace more difficult,” he added.


China is deeply concerned about escalation after Iran’s attacks, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said in remarks published on its website.

“China calls on relevant parties to remain calm and exercise restraint to avoid further escalation of tensions,” the spokesperson said in response to a question about Iran’s strikes.

This round of tensions is a “spillover from the Gaza conflict”, and quelling that conflict is “a top priority”, the spokesperson added.


President Gustavo Petro called the attacks “predictable”, adding that “we’re now in the prelude to World War III precisely when humanity should rebuild its economy towards the rapid goal of decarbonisation”.

“The support of the US, in practice, for a genocide, has ignited the world. Everyone knows how wars start, no one knows how they end. If only the people of Israel were high enough, like their ancestors, to stop the madness of their ruler,” he said in a statement.

“The United Nations must meet urgently and must immediately commit to peace.”


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its “deep concern” at the escalation of hostilities and called for “maximum restraint”.

Its statement also warned of the “risk of the regional expansion of the conflict”, and added that Egypt would be “in direct contact with all parties to the conflict to try and contain the situation”.

European Union

“The EU strongly condemns the unacceptable Iranian attack against Israel,” EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said in a post on X.

“This is an unprecedented escalation and a grave threat to regional security.”


Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said Iran is taking a “new step in its destabilising actions and taking the risk of a military escalation”.


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that his country would do everything possible to prevent further escalation in the Middle East.

“We can only warn Iran in particular. It is good that Israel, together with its partners, has largely repelled this attack,” he said in a statement on the social media platform X.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock condemned the attack which she said “could plunge an entire region into chaos.

Iran and its proxies must stop this immediately,” she said. “Israel offers our full solidarity at this time,” she added.


After a video conference held by the Group of Seven (G7) leaders, the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, said the group “unanimously condemned” the drone and missile attack, but added that “all parties must exercise restraint”.

“We will continue all our efforts to work towards de-escalation. Ending the crisis in Gaza as soon as possible, notably through an immediate ceasefire, will make a difference,” Michel added.



India said it was “seriously concerned at the escalation of hostilities between Israel and Iran, which threatens the peace and security in the region”.

“We call for immediate de-escalation, exercise of restraint, stepping back from violence and return to the path of diplomacy,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

India, it added, is closely monitoring the evolving situation and Indian embassies in the region are in close touch with the Indian community.

“It is vital that security and stability are maintained in the region,” the statement further said.


Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh said any escalation in the region would lead to “dangerous paths” and said that there was a need to reduce escalation by all parties.

In remarks to the cabinet, Khasawneh said the country’s armed forces would confront any attempt by any party that sought to endanger the kingdom’s security.


Lebanese group Hezbollah praised Iran’s attack on Israel, describing it as a “brave” decision.

Iran-backed Hezbollah added in a statement that Iran had exercised its legal rights despite “threats, intimidation and pressure”.


Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim dubbed Iran’s attack as a “consequence of the Israeli government breaking international laws” by bombing the Iranian consulate on April 1.

He said the violence between the two regional rivals was not “good for the world economy and peace,” local English daily Malay Mail reported.

“The war between Iran and Israel that started after the Zionist Israeli government attacked the Iranian embassy, which is against international law, is a consequence of one’s actions. When you break the law you invite a reaction.”


“Today’s developments demonstrate the consequences of the breakdown of diplomacy,” the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“These also underline the ‘grave’ implications in cases where the UN Security Council is unable to fulfil its responsibilities of maintaining international peace and security.”

For months, it added, Pakistan has underlined the necessity of international efforts to prevent expansion of hostilities in the region and for a cease-fire in Gaza.

“It’s now critically urgent to stabilise the situation and restore peace. We call on all parties to exercise utmost restraint,” it concluded.


The Gulf nation called on all concerned parties to stop the escalation and exercise utmost restraint.

In a statement, the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “its deep concern about the developments in the region”.

It called on “all parties to halt escalation, promote calm and exercise maximum restraint”.

It urged “the international community to take urgent action to defuse tension and de-escalate the situation in the region”.


Russia said it was extremely concerned by Iranian strikes on Israel and called on all parties to exercise restraint.

“We express our extreme concern over another dangerous escalation in the region,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement on the Iranian attacks. “We call on all parties involved to exercise restraint.”

“We have repeatedly warned that the numerous unresolved crises in the Middle East, primarily in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone, which are often fuelled by irresponsible provocative actions, will lead to an increase in tension,” the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement voicing its concern at the “military escalation” and calling on “all parties to exercise utmost restraint and spare the region and its peoples from the dangers of war”.

It went on to urge the UN Security Council “to assume its responsibility towards maintaining international peace and security”.


Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called for restraint, saying on X: “We are following with the greatest concern the evolution of the situation in the Middle East. One must at all cost avoid a regional escalation.”


Turkey does not want further escalation of tension in the region after Iran’s drone and missile attack against Israel, Turkish foreign minister Hakan Fidan told his Iranian counterpart in a phone call on Sunday, Turkish diplomatic sources told Reuters.

Anadolu Agency reported Fidan held a call with UK’s Cameron “adding that both officials agreed that the region should not see any further escalation”, according to diplomatic sources.


President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned Iran’s drone and missile attack, calling for efforts to prevent a further escalation in Middle East conflict.

“Iran’s actions threaten the entire region and the world, just as Russia’s actions threaten a larger conflict, and the obvious collaboration between the two regimes in spreading terror must face a resolute and united response from the world,” he posted on X.

United Kingdom

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described Iran’s actions as “reckless”.

“Iran has once again demonstrated that it is intent on sowing chaos in its own backyard,” he said in a statement posted on X.

“The UK will continue to stand up for Israel’s security and that of all our regional partners, including Jordan and Iraq,” he added.

United Nations

“I strongly condemn the serious escalation represented by the large-scale attack launched on Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran this evening,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote in a statement.

“I am deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation. I urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East,” he added.

United States

President Joe Biden condemned the Iranian attacks and pledged a coordinated G7 diplomatic response. He said the US had helped Israel take down “nearly all” of the attacking drones and missiles.

Biden said in a statement released by the White House that he reiterated the “ironclad” US support for Israel’s security in a call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I told him that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks – sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel,” he said in the statement.

“Tomorrow [Sunday], I will convene my fellow G7 leaders to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack,” he said.

The US also does not want to see an escalation of the conflict in the region and Biden made clear to Netanyahu that Washington would not participate in any offensive action against Iran, according to a senior administration official who was not authorised to publicly discuss the private conversation between the two leaders.


Pope Francis made a “pressing appeal” against a “spiral of violence”, warning of a potential regional conflagration.

“I make a pressing appeal for an end to any action which could fuel a spiral of violence that risks dragging the Middle East into an even greater conflict,” the Argentinian pontiff declared following his traditional Sunday prayer in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

“I am praying and following with concern, but also pain, the news that has come in recent hours about the worsening situation in Israel due to Iran’s intervention,” the pope told worshippers.

“No one should threaten the existence of others. All countries must, however, side with peace and help Israelis and Palestinians to live in two states, side by side and in security,” he said.


Yemen’s armed Houthi movement said on Sunday that Iran’s attack on Israel was a legitimate act in response to a suspected Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1.

A Houthi spokesman added that the Yemeni group had been in direct confrontation with Israel since October 7, by attacking the southern Israeli port of Eilat with missiles and drones and by preventing Israeli ships from sailing through the Red Sea.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies