DThe large-scale Iranian attack on Israel has been strongly condemned by Western states. The United Nations and Arab states warned of further escalation. Iran celebrated the military strike as a success.

American President Joe Biden described the attack on Israel as “brazen” and once again pledged his “unwavering” support to Israel. “Our commitment to Israel’s security against threats from Iran and its proxies is unwavering,” Biden said. Earlier, he held an emergency meeting with his team in charge of security affairs. Donald Trump accused Biden of weakness. “The weakness we've shown is incredible,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said Saturday at a campaign appearance in Pennsylvania. “It wouldn’t have happened if we were in office.”

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) condemned the Iranian air strikes on Israel “strongly”. “With this irresponsible and unjustifiable attack, Iran risks a regional conflagration,” said Scholz, according to government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit. “In these difficult times, Germany stands closely by Israel’s side.” The federal government will “now discuss further reactions closely with our G-7 partners and allies.” Italy called an emergency meeting of the G-7 heads of state and government for Sunday afternoon.

“Our solidarity goes out to Israel in these hours”

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) condemned the Iranian attack “in the strongest possible terms,” which “can plunge an entire region into chaos.” She wrote on Platform Omid Nouripour, co-chair of the Green Party, told the FAZ: “The regime in Tehran is playing with fire. A fire that can consume the entire region. Our solidarity with Israel is needed more than ever. Germany and Europe will give the right response to this aggression, in coordination with our partner states, above all of course Israel, but also the USA.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the Iranian attack on Israel as dangerous and “reckless.” Sunak said: “Iran has once again proven that it is intent on sowing chaos in its own backyard.” Britain will “continue to stand up for Israel’s security.” The French government condemned the attack as a new level of “destabilization.” Tehran is “taking the risk of military escalation,” said Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell spoke of an “unprecedented escalation”. “The EU strongly condemns the unacceptable Iranian attack on Israel,” Borrell said. This is also “a serious threat to regional security”. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for “an immediate cessation of hostilities.” He said he was “deeply alarmed by the very real threat of devastating escalation across the region.” The UN Security Council was scheduled to meet on Sunday.

Isolated cheers in Iran

On the streets of Tehran shortly after the attack began on Sunday night, people with Iranian and Hezbollah flags cheered Iran's retaliatory strike against Israel. They chanted “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” Motorcades and honking mopeds drove through the capital. However, these apparently were not mass demonstrations. “We are here to express our support for the Iranian army and the Revolutionary Guards,” one man said in a video shared online.