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Tensions Soar as Israel Strikes Iran; Global Leaders Urge De-escalation

Global calls for de-escalation resounded following reports of explosions in the central province of Isfahan in Iran, with US officials suggesting Israeli retaliatory strikes as tensions simmered. Iranian air defenses were activated after state media reported blasts near Isfahan, prompting concerns of further conflict.

A senior Iranian official, speaking anonymously, stated there were no immediate plans for retaliation and uncertainty prevailed regarding the incident’s source. China pledged to play a constructive role in reducing tensions, while Oman condemned what it labeled an “Israeli attack” on Iran, emphasizing the need to halt regional military actions.

Israel had issued warnings of reprisal after Iran’s missile and drone attacks on Israel a week prior, purportedly in response to an earlier strike on its consulate in Syria. Amid fears of wider regional ramifications, the situation remained volatile.

Reports from Iran described multiple explosions near Isfahan, though Iranian authorities claimed no major damage. The Iranian military clarified that air defenses had engaged a target in the air, denying any ground-based explosion. Nuclear facilities in Isfahan were reported as secure.

US media cited advance notification of Israel’s alleged strike but emphasized Washington’s non-involvement. Israel neither confirmed nor denied the reports, maintaining silence on the matter. The incident marked a further escalation in hostilities between the two nations, following Iran’s direct missile assault on Israel and subsequent interceptions.

The situation intensified against the backdrop of ongoing tensions in the Middle East, with concerns raised about the potential for a broader conflict. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the precarious situation, urging all parties to exercise restraint to prevent a devastating regional war.

Oil prices surged in response to the escalating tensions, reflecting broader concerns about instability in the region. Amidst the uncertainty, international efforts to defuse the situation remained crucial to averting further escalation and fostering peace.

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