update deskIsrael at War

European nations summon Iranian envoys over attack on Israel

Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the Czech Republic summoned their respective Iranian ambassadors.

Iranian Ambassador to France Mohammad Aminnejad (left) meets Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian before leaving for Paris, March 16, 2024. Credit: Iran MFA.
Iranian Ambassador to France Mohammad Aminnejad (left) meets Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian before leaving for Paris, March 16, 2024. Credit: Iran MFA.

Several European countries, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the Czech Republic, summoned the Iranian ambassadors to their respective countries on Monday to convey their condemnation of Tehran’s unprecedented assault on the Jewish state.

The Iranian envoy “has been summoned to the foreign ministry this morning,” a spokesman for German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters. “alks are currently taking place.”

Berlin also said that Tehran’s unprecedented escalation “brought the Middle East to the brink of the abyss,” urging a diplomatic solution to “secure Israel’s defensive victory.”

French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné told France 2 on Sunday night that he invited Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Aminnejad for a diplomatic dressing-down.

The latter was “reminded in the strongest terms” of Paris’s disapproval of the “irresponsible” attack, which it said “runs the risk of a conflagration,” per a statement that Paris issued after the meeting.

“These grave and unprecedented actions, which threaten the security of Israel and our partners and regional stability, must cease immediately,” Paris added. “France is working with its partners towards a de-escalation and calls for restraint from everyone.”

The top Netherlands diplomat, Hanke Bruins Slot, wrote on Sunday that she summoned the Iranian ambassador “to convey our condemnation regarding the dangerous Iranian attack on Israel.”

On Monday, the Dutch government said it would reopen its embassy in Tehran after closing it for two days for safety reasons.

“The security of the representation continues to be closely monitored, making a new closure possible in the near future,” according to The Hague.

Overnight Saturday, the Islamic Republic launched more than 300 drones and missiles at the Jewish state in a direct attack.

The IDF said that Israel and its allies intercepted some 99% of the projectiles, calling it a “significant strategic achievement” and noting that none of the 170 drones that Iran sent penetrated Israeli airspace.

Israel might carry out a retaliatory attack on Iran as early as Monday night, three U.S. and Western officials told The Wall Street Journal, as Jerusalem’s War Cabinet wrapped up talks on “painful” responses.

Western governments have called on Israel to refrain from retaliating against Iran, fearing a regional war, and the United States has told Israel that it would not participate in an attack against Iran.

However, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, a member of the War Cabinet, told U.S. counterpart on Sunday night that the Jewish state had no choice but to respond to Saturday night’s mass attack.

A 7-year-old Israeli Bedouin girl wounded in the Iranian assault underwent surgery Sunday for a severe head wound and remains hospitalized in critical condition.

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