The most recent: The UN leader demands an immediate de-escalation in the Middle East.

The “urgent de-escalation” of hostilities in the Middle East is demanded by Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations.

Following Tehran’s attack on Israel over the weekend, Guterres spoke by phone with Iran’s foreign minister, according to a statement released by the U.N. on Tuesday by spokesman Stephane Dujarric. According to Dujarric, Guterres spoke with Hossein Amirabdollahian, the foreign minister, on Monday.

In an emergency Security Council meeting on Sunday, Guterres issued a warning, saying that it was time to pull back because “the Middle East is on the brink.”International leaders have pleaded with Israel not to strike back after Iran, in an unprecedented move over the weekend, launched hundreds of drones and missiles, bringing the Middle East closer to a regional conflict. Less than two weeks had passed since two Iranian generals were slain in an Iranian consulate building by a suspected Israeli strike in Syria.Since the beginning of the most recent Israel-Hamas conflict on October 7, tensions in the area have grown. On that day, two militant groups supported by Iran, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, launched a cross-border attack that resulted in the deaths of 1,200 Israeli citizens and the kidnapping of 250 more. In response, Israel launched an offensive in Gaza that, according to local health professionals, has killed over 33,800 people and left huge amounts of destruction in its wake.