Following Iran’s attack on Israel, the UN chief demands the utmost moderation.

After paragraph 8, adds remarks from Iran and Israel.

By Patricia Zengerle and Daphne Psaledakis.

(Reuters) – April 14On Sunday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of the United Nations cautioned members against using retaliation against Iran to further inflame tensions, while the United States forewarned the Security Council that it will endeavor to hold Tehran responsible at the U.N.

Speaking to the U.N. Security Council, Guterres denounced Iran’s attack on Israel and reminded members that the U.N. charter forbids using force to protect a state’s political independence or territorial integrity.

Iran threatened to further escalate its first-ever direct strike on Israeli territory on Saturday by firing missiles and sending out a swarm of deadly drones.

The attack came after months of fighting between Israel and Iran’s regional allies, which were sparked by the conflict in Gaza, and in retaliation to a suspected Israeli raid on the Iranian embassy compound in Syria on April 1. The strike claimed the lives of senior Revolutionary Guards leaders.

The Middle East is about to collapse. The residents of the area are seriously at risk of a catastrophic, all-out war. The conference was held in response to Iran’s strike, and Guterres stated, “Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate.”

The deputy US ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, urged the organization’s fifteen members to strongly denounce Iran’s strike, arguing that the Security Council cannot afford to remain silent in the face of Iran’s conduct.

In the coming days, and in consultation with other member states, the United States will explore additional measures to hold Iran accountable here at the United Nations,” he said, without providing specifics.

“Let me be clear: If Iran or its proxies take actions against the United States or further action against Israel, Iran will be held responsible,” he said.

Iran’s U.N. ambassador, Amir Saeid Iravani, said his country’s action was necessary and proportionate, and he said that while Tehran does not seek an escalation or war in the region and has no intention of engaging in conflict with the U.S., it reaffirms its right to defend itself.

Iran would exercise its natural right to respond appropriately if the United States launches military activities against Iran, its people, or its security and interests, he declared.

During the conference, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, accused Iran of breaking international law and exhibited a video on a tablet that he claimed demonstrated Israel’s interception of Iranian drones above the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, one of the holiest places in Islam.

He motioned to the Iranian ambassador, who was seated in the Security Council room, “Here, you can look at it.”

In an appeal to the Security Council, Erdan demanded that Iran be denounced, sanctions be reinstated, and the Revolutionary Guards of Iran declared a terrorist group.

“You can no longer use the snooze button. Erdan informed the gathering that his only choice was to denounce Iran and use all available tools to hold them accountable for the atrocities they had committed. He made this appeal on Saturday.