G7 'ready to take measures' over destabilisation by Iran

G7 'ready to take measures' over destabilisation by Iran
The Group of Powers seven have come down strongly in support of Israel after a retaliatory strike by Iran on the country.
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The G7 have unsurprisingly taken a decisive pro-Israel stance after Iran's retaliatory attack [Getty]

G7 leaders offered their full support for Israel on Sunday following a retaliatory attack by Iran, and said they were ready to "take further measures" in response to "further destabilising initiatives".

In a statement following a video meeting, the leaders of the Group of Seven powers said they "unequivocally condemn in the strongest terms Iran's direct and unprecedented attack against Israel".

"We express our full solidarity and support to Israel and its people and reaffirm our commitment towards its security," they said, in the statement published by the Italian G7 presidency.

"With its actions, Iran has further stepped toward the destabilisation of the region and risks provoking an uncontrollable regional escalation. This must be avoided.

"We will continue to work to stabilise the situation and avoid further escalation.

"In this spirit, we demand that Iran and its proxies cease their attacks, and we stand ready to take further measures now and in response to further destabilising initiatives."

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a separate statement: "Going forward we will reflect on additional sanctions against Iran in close cooperation with our partners. Specifically on its drone and missile programmes."

Iran launched the attack, its first ever to directly target Israeli territory, in retaliation for a deadly air strike widely blamed on Israel that destroyed its consular building in Syria's capital early this month.

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The attack came as Israel's destructive war on Gaza continued to rage on, killing at least 33,729 Palestinians in Gaza, mostly of whom are women and children.

The G7 -- which groups the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada -- also said Sunday they would step up efforts to end that crisis.

"We will also strengthen our cooperation to end the crisis in Gaza, including by continuing to work towards an immediate and sustainable ceasefire and the release of hostages by Hamas, and deliver increased humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in need," they said.