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UN Human Rights Office Urges Israel, Iran To De-Escalate 'Already Extremely Precarious' Situation

19.04.2024 12:57

'We're deeply worried about potential humanitarian, human rights cost if this escalation leads to wider conflict in Middle East,' says spokesperson Laurence.

The UN human rights office on Friday urged Israel and Iran to de-escalate an "already extremely precarious" situation following the reports of an Israeli attack on Iran.

"We urge all parties to take steps to de-escalate the situation and call on third states, in particular those with influence, to do all in their power to ensure there is no further deterioration in an already extremely precarious situation," spokesperson Jeremy Laurence told a press briefing in Geneva.

"Of course, we're deeply worried about the potential humanitarian and human rights cost if this escalation leads to a wider conflict in the Middle East," Laurence added.

Sounds of heavy explosions were heard in at least two Iranian cities in the wee hours of Friday morning amid an alleged Israeli attack inside Iran.

Iranian authorities, however, downplayed the incidents and said the sound of explosions in the central Iranian city of Isfahan and the northwestern city of Tabriz was the result of Iranian air defense systems firing at "suspicious objects," as reported by state media.

Officials insisted that all military and nuclear facilities located in and around the city of Isfahan were safe and no damage had been caused.

Immediately after the reports of the explosions, flights to the cities of Isfahan and Shiraz from Tehran were suspended by the country's airport authority.

The flights later resumed at the Imam Khomeini International Airport and Mehrabad International Airport, according to the Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company.

The explosions came amid heightened tensions between arch-foes Iran and Israel after Saturday's unprecedented attack by Tehran involving hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel, which Iran said was in response to the April 1 attack on the Iranian Consulate in Syria.

Israel has vowed a military response to the Iranian weekend attack despite many Western countries urging restraint and de-escalation of tensions. -

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