Israel, Iran clash in Security Council meeting


Israel and Iran accused each other at the United Nations on Sunday of being the biggest threat to peace in the Middle East.

Both countries also appealed to the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against the other.

“The mask is off. Iran, the number one global sponsor of terror, has exposed its true face as the destabilizer of the region and the world,” Gilad Erdan, Israel’s UN ambassador, said in an emergency meeting of the Security Council after Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel .

Erdan asked the Security Council to declare the Revolutionary Guard, the Islamic Republic’s ideological army, a terrorist organization and to “impose all possible sanctions against Iran before it is too late”.

On Saturday, Iran launched a direct attack on its archenemy Israel for the first time, firing more than 300 missiles and drones. Almost all have been intercepted by Israel and other countries, including the US, Jordan and Britain.

Iran said its attack was in response to a deadly April 1 airstrike on Tehran’s consulate building in Syria’s capital, Damascus, which was widely blamed on Israel. That attack claimed the lives of seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards, including two senior generals.

Amir Saeid Iravani, Iran’s UN ambassador, insisted during the emergency meeting that the Islamic republic was only exercising its “inherent right to self-defense”.

“The Security Council has failed in its duty to maintain international peace and security,” Iravani said.

Therefore, Tehran had “no choice” but to respond, he said, adding that his country “does not seek an escalation or war”, but will respond to any “threat or aggression”.

He also lashed out at Israel. “It is time for the Security Council to take up its responsibility and curb the real threat to international peace and security,” Iravani said. He said the Security Council “must take urgent punitive measures to force this regime to end a genocide against the people of Gaza”.

Since the Iranian revolution of 1979, Israel has been considered a sworn enemy by the Islamic republic. Until now, Tehran has refrained from attacking Israel directly, and the two countries have instead chosen to confront each other through third parties.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged restraint on Sunday, telling the emergency meeting that “neither the region nor the world can afford more war”.