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Further escalation between Iran and Israel avoidable – Hungary

Budapest has said all major global players should behave responsibly and assist in easing the tension

It is possible to avoid a further escalation of the conflict between Iran and Israel, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto wrote in a post on Facebook late on Sunday.

Tehran launched a massive airstrike on Israel on Saturday in response to the bombing of the Iranian embassy in Damascus earlier this month. While Israel neither confirmed nor denied responsibility, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement that Israel strikes “enemies all over the Middle East.” Iran has warned that Israel reacting militarily to its strikes would prompt an even bigger escalation, while West Jerusalem is reportedly weighing its options.

Szijjarto said he had discussed the situation with his Russian and Emirati counterparts, Sergey Lavrov and Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, late on Sunday.

“Based on our discussions, I see that we Hungarians are not the only ones eager to prevent the spread of the Middle East conflict… There is still a chance that a widespread escalation of the situation can be avoided. However, this will only be possible if all significant players in world politics behave responsibly in the coming period,” he stated.

In a separate post, Szijjarto said that Budapest “strongly condemns” Iran’s missile attack on Israel, as it “threatens to escalate the conflict,” posing a serious threat to global security. He expressed those sentiments in a conversation with Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Sunday. He also said he made clear to his counterpart that Hungary opposes any further ramp up of tensions.


READ MORE: Middle East on verge of full-scale war – UN

Iran’s diplomatic mission to the UN justified Saturday’s barrage as self-defense under Article 51 of the body’s charter. Tehran also said it has no intention of taking further action unless Israel strikes it again. The Israeli Foreign Ministry, however, condemned Tehran as the “greatest threat” to regional and world peace and called for “painful sanctions” against Iran, as well as the designation of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

 

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