Israel attacks Iran LIVE: Russia joins calls for restraint as world leaders react to Israeli missile strike in Iranian city that hosts state’s nuclear programme

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Written By Maya Cantina

Breaking:Israel told US about Iran attack at the ‘very last minute’

Italy’s foreign minister revealed that Israel told the US about its attack on Iran at the ‘very last minute’, adding that Washington had ‘no involvement’ in the attack.

The statement sits in stark contrast to the support given to Israel last weekend when Iran sent a salvo of hundreds of drones and missiles, many of which were shot down by US military already in the region.

Life in Isfahan goes on despite missile attacks, photos reveal

New photos from Isfahan have revealed that despite suffering missile attacks from Israel, life in the city appears to be going on.

Explosion sounds were heard in Isfahan due to the activation of the air defense system and the destruction of 3 mini unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), Iranian media reported.

ISFAHAN, IRAN - APRIL 19: People walk on the streets and spend time in the city as they continue their daily lives after the news of the attacks in Isfahan, Iran on April 19, 2024. The explosion sounds were heard in Isfahan due to the activation of the air defense system and the destruction of 3 mini unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), Iranian media reported. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu via Getty Images)
ISFAHAN, IRAN - APRIL 19: People walk on the streets and spend time in the city as they continue their daily lives after the news of the attacks in Isfahan, Iran on April 19, 2024. The explosion sounds were heard in Isfahan due to the activation of the air defense system and the destruction of 3 mini unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), Iranian media reported. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu via Getty Images)

UAE and Jordan urge Iran and Israel to remain calm amid rising tensions

The UAE and Jordan seperately called for Iran and Israel to remain calm.

The UAE’s foreign ministry expressed concern today about regional tensions in a statement, calling for ‘utmost restraint’ to avoid serious repercussions.

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, meanwhile, said Israeli-Iranian retaliations must end, warning against danger of regional escalation.

Russia calls for ‘restraint’ in the Middle East as it enters 25th month of Ukrainian invasion

The Kremlin said Friday it was looking into reports Israel carried out a strike on Iran and urged all sides to exercise ‘restraint’ to prevent further escalation.

‘We continue to favour restraint on the sides and to refrain from any action that could provoke further escalation in such a sensitive region,’ spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Breaking:G7 foreign ministers pledge ‘new and significant’ measures against Iran if it transfers missiles to Russia

G7 ministers, meeting today in Italy, have pledged to impose ‘new and significant’ measures against Iran if its chooses to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia.

Watch: Rishi calls for ‘calm heads to prevail’ after Israel strikes Iran

Pro-missile propaganda seen throughout Tehran

Photos from across Tehran show pro-missile propaganda has been spread throughout the city, as tensions between Iran and Israel escalated this month.

After several people, including two top generals, were killed in an Israeli strike on April 1 in Damascus, Syria’s capital, Iran decided to respond by sending a swarm of missiles and drones to Israel.

Israel’s response to the drone and missile attack was the latest escalation in hostilities between the two nations.

epa11287863 An Iranian man walks past a huge anti-Israeli banner carrying pictures of missiles on Iran's map, in Tehran, Iran, 19 April 2024. Iranian state media reported that three aerial objects were destroyed by air defense systems over the central city of Isfahan early morning on 19 April. The explosions come after a drone and missile attack carried by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) towards Israel on 13 April, following an airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Syria which Iran claimed was conducted by Israel. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH
epa11287865 An Iranian woman walks past a huge anti-Israeli banner carrying pictures of missiles, in Tehran, Iran, 19 April 2024. Iranian state media reported that three aerial objects were destroyed by air defense systems over the central city of Isfahan early morning on 19 April. The explosions come after a drone and missile attack carried by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) towards Israel on 13 April, following an airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Syria which Iran claimed was conducted by Israel. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH
epa11287861 An Iranian couple walk past a huge anti-Israeli banner carrying pictures of missiles on Iran's map, in Tehran, Iran, 19 April 2024. Iranian state media reported that three aerial objects were destroyed by air defense systems over the central city of Isfahan early morning on 19 April. The explosions come after a drone and missile attack carried by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) towards Israel on 13 April, following an airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Syria which Iran claimed was conducted by Israel. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH
epa11287873 Iranian people walk past a huge anti-Israeli banner carrying pictures of missiles, in Tehran, Iran, 19 April 2024. Iranian state media reported that three aerial objects were destroyed by air defense systems over the central city of Isfahan early morning on 19 April. The explosions come after a drone and missile attack carried by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) towards Israel on 13 April, following an airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Syria which Iran claimed was conducted by Israel. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

New satellite images of Iranian nuclear site targeted by Israel

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows Iran's nuclear site in Isfahan, Iran, April 4, 2024. Iran fired air defenses at a major air base and a nuclear site early Friday morning near the central city of Isfahan after spotting drones, which were suspected to be part of an Israeli attack in retaliation for Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile assault on the country. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)
This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows the dual-use civilian airport and air base in Isfahan, Iran, Thursday, April 18, 2024. Iran fired air defenses at a major air base and a nuclear site early Friday morning near the central city of Isfahan after spotting drones, which were suspected to be part of an Israeli attack in retaliation for Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile assault on the country. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

Dr Andreas Krieg, an expert on Middle Eastern security and Senior Lecturer at King’s College London’s School of Security Studies, told MailOnline that such a limited strike could be seen as an effort by Tel Aviv to climb down from a major kinetic conflict.

‘If this is the extent of Israel’s retaliation it could be described as a deescalatory strike. The use of small drones such as quadcopters provides a degree of plausible deniability that could help Iran downplay the effect of the attack,’ he said.

‘We could say that this attack makes a return to the shadow war that has been ongoing for years if that is the extent of it.

He added: ‘The Iranians would have to respond to a strike that is not deniable or involved Israeli jets over Iran – but this attack does not cross the threshold. Neither side wants an all-out war.’

Similar sentiments were expressed by Justin Crump, British army veteran and CEO of global risk analysis firm Sibylline.

‘It remains to be seen if this is the start of a more concerted campaign by Israel steadily to harm Iran while remaining below an escalation threshold, or an isolated act,’ he told MailOnline in the wake of the overnight strikes.

‘Iran has its own internal problems with spiralling inflation and anti-regime sentiment and is so far keen for things not to escalate. While it has similarly sub-threshold ways to respond, and will likely do so, this limits more major escalation.

‘However,’ he continued, ‘this cannot now truly be a return to business as usual and I would suggest that honour is far from satisfied on both sides at the moment.’

Iranian army’s chief says explosions above Isfahan were caused by anti-aircraft systems

The Iranian army’s commander-in-chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi told local media that explosions seen above the Isfahan province were caused by anti-aircraft systems shooting down what he said was a suspicious object.

He claimed no damage was suffered, adding: ‘Experts are investigating this incident and will inform about the matter after receiving the results.’

The commander-in-chief’s comments come hours after a fellow military commander said there was ‘no damage’ suffered as a result of the strike.

Still no official response from Israel or Iran

Neither Israel nor Iran have officially commented on the strike on Iranian soil this morning.

Political figures within Israel, including Israeli ministers, have, however, squabbled over responses to the attack.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid hit back againt far-right National Security minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s single-word response to the attack.

Ben Gvir simply said ‘feeble’ in respone to the news of the attack.

Lapid, meanwhile, said: ‘A security cabinet minister has never caused such heavy damage to the country’s security, image and international standing.

‘With an unforgivable, one word tweet Ben Gvir managed to ridicule and embarrass Israel all the way from Tehran to Washington. Any other prime minister would have thrown him out of the cabinet this morning.’

Iranian military personnel seen guarding Isfahan nuclear facility

Screengrabs from a video shared by an Iranian news agency showed military personnel standing near an anti-aircraft gun at the nuclear facility in the Zardanjan area of Isfahan province.

Military personnel stand guard at a nuclear facility in the Zardanjan area of Isfahan, Iran, April 19, 2024, in this screengrab taken from video. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. IRAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN IRAN

Rishi Sunak refused to ‘speculate’ on Iran attack

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak said at a press conference in London: ‘It is a developing situation and it wouldn’t be right for me to speculate until the facts become clearer, and we’re working to confirm the details together with allies.

‘We have condemned Iran’s reckless and dangerous barrage of missiles against Israel on Saturday, and Israel absolutely has the right to self-defence.

‘But as I said to prime minister Netanyahu when I spoke to him last week, and more generally, significant escalation is not in anyone’s interest. What we want to see is calm heads prevail across the region.’

Egypt is ‘deeply concerned’ over ‘expanding conflict’ between Israel and Iran

Egypt says it is ‘deeply concerned’ about the rising tensions between Iran and Israel.

The nation’s foreign ministry called on both countries to exercise the ‘utmost levels of self-restraint and fully comply with the rules of international law.

‘Egypt renews its deep concern over the mutual Iranian/Israeli escalation and warns of the consequences of the expanding conflict in the region.

‘Egypt affirms that it will continue to intensify its contacts with all concerned and influential parties in order to contain the ongoing tension and escalation,’ it added.

Oil and gold prices spike following Israeli strike

Global oil and gold prices jumped up after Israel struck Iran with a missile.

Brent crude, considered the world’s benchmark, role by 1.8% to $88 per barrel.

Gold, meanwhile, came close to a record high, before prices fell to around $2,400 per ounce.

UN counter-terrorism and human rights expert says Israeli strike on Iran ‘threat to human right to life’

The UN’s special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights Ben Saul said: ‘Israel’s latest strikes on Iran are another violation of the prohibition on the use of military force under international law & the UN Charter, and threaten the human right to life.’

Von Der Leyen begs Israel and Iran to ‘restrain from further action’

EU Commission president Ursula Von Der Leyen today called on Iran, Israel and their respective allies, not to stoke tensions following this morning’s strikes.

She said: ‘It is absolutely necessary that the region remains stable and that all sides restrain from further action.’

Iranian news agency shares purported proof that Isfahan nuclear site is ‘completely safe’

Strikes aimed to show off Israel’s ‘capability’, retired Major General tells local media

Retired IDF Major General Amos Yadlin, a former fighter pilot, told Israel’s Channel 12 that the strike on Iran was done to prove Israel could take out critical infrastructure at the drop of a hat.

He told the broadcaster: ‘This move wasn’t to achieve a big response from Iran, rather to show them that we can respond, and Israel’s ability to do so.’

Map shows extent of temporary flight suspension in Middle East

Flights in and out of Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz were suspended for more than two hours this morning, but have since been allowed to resume.

Despite this, flights are still few and far between over the whole of Iran, an analysis of FlightRadar24 data reveals.

Italy calls for ‘absolute de-escalation’ following Israel strike

Italy’s foreign minister Antonio Tajani called for an ‘absolute de-escalation’ of tensions in the Middle East after Israel struck Iran’s Isfahan province.

He said the G7, which includes the UK, US, France, Germany, Japan and Canada, also wants conflict to be de-escalated.

Foreign ministers of G7 nations are said to be meeting to discuss their response to the attack.

China opposes escalating tensions in the Middle East

A spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said: ‘China has noted the relevant reports and opposes any actions that further escalate tensions.’

G7 meeting to discuss strike on Iran, British minister reveals

Mel Stride, the UK’s work and pensions secretary, told Sky News that foreign secretary Lord David Cameron is working with his G7 counterparts to discuss their response to the attack on Iran.

Stride said: ‘We accept that Israel has the absolute right to defend itself, and indeed, we were working with Israel and other allies to head off that attack last weekend that iran made upon Israel

‘At the same time, though, we do think that de-escalation is absolutely key now. And our message to all in the region, including Israel, is that de-escalation is really important.

‘The foreign secretary currently is speaking with his G7 counterparts, so they will be very much focused on exactly that.’

Life in Tehran goes on despite major missile strike on military base, photos reveal

Oman condemns strike against Iran

Oman condemned the ‘Israeli attack’ on Iran hours after it took place.

The nation’s foreign ministry said on X: ‘The Sultanate of Oman once again appeals to the international community to address the causes and roots of tension and conflict through dialogue, diplomacy and political solutions, and to focus on ceasefire efforts in Gaza and resort to international law and United Nations resolutions to reach a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue in order to restore security, stability and comprehensive peace to the region.’

Israel attacked Syrian air defence unit, state news agency claims

Israel carried out a missile strike targeting an air defense unit in its south and causing material damage, according to a military statement published by Syria’s state-run SANA news agency.

Warplanes were seen around the same time that Iran was attacked by an Israeli strike.

France calls for ‘de-escalation and restraint’

France’s deputy foreign minister Jean-Noel Barrot said: ‘All I can say is that France’s position is to call on all actors for de-escalation and restraint.’

Trade ships on high alert after strikes

The UK Maritime Trade Operations has warned ships in the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean that they may see ‘increased unmanned aircraft system [UAS] activity’ following the strike on Iranian soil.

The organisation said that there are ‘currently no indications commercial maritime vessels are the intended target’ of the increased activity.

Iran has no plans to retaliate against Israeli strike, senior official claims

A senior Iranian official told Reuters said that the nation has no plans to attack Israel in response to the strike.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said: ‘The discussion leans more towards infiltration than attack.’

Israeli minister writes one word post after strike on Iran

Israel’s national security minister has taken to X to write just the word ‘feeble’ after the alleged Israeli strike on Iran.

Itamar Ben Gvir has been the leader of the far-right party Jewish Power since 2019, and also controls Israel’s Border Police division in the occupied West Bank.

He has previously said: ‘In order to establish deterrence in the Middle East, you must show them that you’ve gone berserk and completely lost it.’

Following the Iranian attack on Saturday he also wrote on X: ‘We need a crushing attack.’

Lord Cameron urges de-escalation

The foreign secretary met with the Israeli PM on Wednesday where he urged him to do a little as possible to escalate the situation with Iran further.

Lord Cameron, speaking after meeting Netanyahu, said he hoped that ‘anything Israel does is as limited and as targeted and as smart as possible.

‘It’s in no one’s interest that we see escalation and that is what we said very clearly to all the people I’ve been speaking to here in Israel.’

JERUSALEM - APRIL 17: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY - MANDATORY CREDIT - 'ISRAELI GOVERNMENT PRESS OFFICE (GPO) / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS, DO NOT OBSCURE LOGO----) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron during his official visit in West Jerusalem on April 17, 2024. (Photo by Israeli Government Press Office / Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images)

No. 10 says ‘Israel has a right to self-defence’

This morning the Prime Minister’s office has claimed that Israel has a right to self-defence, but added ‘we have been stressing to Israelis that what matters now is de-escalation’.

It comes after the Foreign Office lead sanctions against Iran following its attack on Saturday.

It wrote on X: ‘Iran’s attack on a sovereign state was dangerous and reckless. Co-ordinated with the USA, we are sanctioning leading Iranian military figures and entities involved in the attacks against Israel and tightening the net on key actors within Iran’s drones and missile industries.’

Ships in the Gulf are warned to remain vigilant in case of drone strikes

Ships in the Arabian Gulf and the Western Indian Ocean have been told to stay alert this morning, a British security firm has said.

Ambrey reported merchant vessels travelling across the surrounding waters had been given a warning of increased drone activity in the region.

UN’s nuclear watchdog claims no damage to Iran’s nuclear sites

The International Atomic Energy Agency has confrimed that there has been no damage to Iran’s nuclear sites during this morning’s alleged attack by Israel.

The UN nuclear watchdog said it is monitoring the situation ‘very closely’ and calls for ‘extreme restraint’.

Iran hints it could build a nuclear weapon in retaliation to Israeli strikes

Iran has hinted it could build a nuclear weapon if Benjamin Netanyahu strikes Tehran’s atomic sites – and target Israel’s own nuclear facilities in response.

A senior Revolutionary Guards general said Iran could review its ‘nuclear doctrine’ in the event of an Israeli strike on Tehran’s atomic facilities.

The comments represent the first time Iran has explicitly mentioned its suspected nuclear weapons programme since Tehran’s unprecedented weekend attack that saw Iran launch more than 300 missiles at Israel.

It was in retaliation for an April 1 air strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus that killed 13 people, including two generals.

Watch: Alleged Israeli attack on Iran

Unconfirmed footage circulating social media appear to show explosions overhead in Iran, however MailOnline has not been able to confirm the footage.

Shortly after reports of strikes emerged, three drones were ‘successfully shot down by the country’s air defense’, according to Iran’s National Cyberspace Center spokesman Hossein Dalirain on X.

What a war between Israel and Iran would look like

‘In case the Israeli regime embarks on adventurism again and takes action against the interests of Iran, the next response from us will be immediate and at a maximum level,’ Amir-Abdollahian told CNN.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ignored pleas from President Biden

Biden had warned Israel not to retaliate to Saturday’s strikes and urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ‘take the win’ of the foiled Iranian attack.

But the Israeli leader brushed off Biden’s warnings, insisting Israel would ‘make its own decisions’ in how to react to Iran’s attack.

Israeli officials warned the Biden administration of its intent to strike before launching in previous days, but an official told CNN that the US did not ‘green light’ any Israeli response.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant on Thursday afternoon, but a senior source declined to confirm to the New York Times if Gallant warned about the strikes that hit hours after the meeting.

Israeli military officials have reportedly stressed that today’s strikes were a ‘limited response’ to Iran’s attack, appearing to target military hubs used by Iran in their onslaught on Saturday.

Airlines scramble to change routes after Israeli attack on Iran

Iran closed its airports in Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan after the attack and cleared flights from the western portion of its airspace for a few hours after the attack, according to flight tracking website FlightRadar24.

By 0445 GMT the airports and airspace had reopened, and closure notices posted on a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration database had been removed.

Before the airports reopened, Flydubai said it had cancelled its Friday flights to Iran. One of its earlier flights turned back to Dubai, it said.

An Iran Air flight from Rome to Tehran was diverted to Ankara, Turkey, Flightradar 24 showed.

Emirates, Flydubai, Turkish Air, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and Belavia were among the carriers continuing to fly over the part of Iran’s airspace that remained open in the initial hours after the attack early on Friday, the tracking website showed.

‘We are monitoring the situation closely and will make changes to our flight paths in consultation with the relevant authorities,’ Flydubai said in a statement.

MAP - ISRAEL ATTACK ON IRAN also view of Nuclear sites - Missile site locations

Explosions rock airbase in city linked to Tehran’s nuke program

Iran downplays damage to its military facilities

Iran sought to downplay any significant damage to its military facilities and outright denied any nuclear plants were destroyed, claiming that ‘so far, no large-scale strikes or explosions by any air threat have been reported.’

Reports citing senior US military sources contradicted this and claimed that targets were hit. No official comment has been released by either Israel, Iran or the US.

TOPSHOT - Emergency and security personnel extinguish a fire at the site of strikes which hit a building annexed to the Iranian embassy in Syria's capital Damascus, on April 1, 2024. Syrian state media said Israeli strikes hit an Iranian consular annex in the capital on April 1, while a war monitor reported eight people were killed and Iranian state media said a senior commander of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was among the dead, amid rising regional tensions due to the Gaza war. (Photo by LOUAI BESHARA / AFP) (Photo by LOUAI BESHARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel strikes back at Iran

Israel has conducted strikes on a target in Iran, defying President Joe Biden’s warnings over plunging the Middle East further into conflict.

US officials confirmed strikes hit a site in Iran, however it is unclear what exact target was hit or the extent of the damage.

Officials say the city of Isfahan in central Iran was struck at 5am local time. The city hosts one of Iran’s nuclear facilities, although US military sources reportedly said the target was not believed to be nuclear.

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