Iran Attack: World Reacts

January 8, 2020

World powers largely called for restraint after Iran launched missiles on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops on January 8. Britain, France and Germany condemned the attack and called for calm. Russia and China were more critical of U.S. policy. The following are international reactions to the Iranian strike.

 

European Union 

 

European Commission President Ursual von der Leyen  

“The use of weapons must stop now to give space to dialogue. We are all called upon to do everything possible to rekindle talks. There cannot be enough of that.” 

-Jan. 8, 2020, statement to reporters 

 

E.U. Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell 

“The current situation puts at risk the efforts of the past years and also has implications for the important work of the anti-Daesh coalition,” 

-Jan. 8, 2020, in a statement according to CNBC 

 

United Kingdom 

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson  

Iran should not repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks but should instead pursue urgent de-escalation.” 

-Jan. 8, 2020, in a statement to the UK House of Commons 

 

[The] strict issue of legality is not for the UK to determine, as it wasn't our operation… Most reasonable people would accept the US has a right to protect its bases and personnel. 

-Jan. 8, 2020, in response to Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s questions about the killing of Soleimani 

 

France 

 

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian 

"France condemns the attacks carried out in Iraq by Iran overnight against Global Coalition Against Daesh bases. It reiterates its solidarity with its allies and partners in the Coalition and its commitment to Iraq’s sovereignty and security.  

De-escalation is a priority more than ever. The cycle of violence must be stopped. For its part, France remains determined to work to ease tensions. It is in contact with all the parties concerned in order to encourage restraint and a sense of responsibility." 

-Jan. 8, 2020, in a press release 

 

Germany 

 

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas 

“We condemn the Iranian missile attack on Iraqi military bases, which also include coalition forces. We call on Iran to refrain from any steps that could lead to a further escalation.” 

“We have been in contact with all sides for days to try to calm the situation. Everyone is asked to exercise prudence and restraint in this situation.”  

-Jan. 8, 2020, in a statement  

 

Russia 

 

Deputy Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee Vladimir Dzhabarov 

“Mutual strikes by the U.S. and Iran could lead to a full-scale war in the region. If Washington realizes it can’t achieve its goal, there’s the danger of a nuclear war…”  

“We need to assess the losses suffered by the Americans after the Iranian missile attack. If the damage is serious, the U.S. can’t help but respond.” 

-Jan. 8, 2020, in a statement according to Moscow Times 

 

Chairman of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee 

“Let’s hope Washington will now have enough common sense to focus not on the missile attack but on Tehran’s official statement: ‘The proportional response is concluded.’” 

“There’s a chance to break the vicious circle of mutual violence at this stage and steer the situation toward a political path. You can’t miss this chance, no matter what plans the American and Iranian radicals hatched in their heads.” 

-Jan. 8, 2020, statement according to Moscow Times 

 

China 

 

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang 

It is not in the interest of any party that the situation in the Middle East worsens further. We call on the parties concerned to exercise restraint.” 

-Jan. 8, 2020, statement during a press conference 

 

Turkey 

 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan 

“Nobody has the right to throw the entire region, especially Iraq, into a ring of fire for the sake of his or her own interests… We will use all the means available to prevent our region from bursting into tears and bloodshed.” 

“As Turkey, we do not want Iraq, Syria, Lebanon or the Gulf region, where more than 30 percent of maritime energy trade takes place, to become battlegrounds for wars of tutelage… The security of our Iraqi Turkmen brothers and sisters is also as important to us as the security of our own citizens. The entire Iraqi people, be it Arab, Kurd, Turkmen, Shiite or Sunni, are our brothers and sisters. As Turkey, we have highlighted on various occasions our sensitivity on this issue. 

-Jan. 8, 2020, in a statement during the inaugural ceremony for the joint Russia-Turkey Turksteam natural gas pipeline 

 

Israel 

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 

“We’re standing steadfast against those who seek our lives. We’re standing with determination and with force. Whoever tries to attack us will receive a crushing blow in return.” 

“On one side is radical Islam led by Iran, which seeks to grasp large sections of the area by means of murderous terrorism, and to grasp, strangle and eliminate us, because they understand that the strongest force of Western culture is here, in the State of Israel. They understand this very well.” 

-Jan. 8, 2020, in a statement at a conference in Jerusalem 

 

Syria 

 

Syrian Foreign Ministry  

"[Syria holds] American regime responsible for all the repercussions due to its reckless policy and arrogant mentality." 

-Jan. 8, 2020, in a press statement