Iran, Pakistan urge U.N Security Council to take action against Israel

A drone view of the apparent remains of a ballistic missile, as it lies in the desert following a massive missile and drone attack by Iran on Israel, near the southern city of Arad

By Charlotte Greenfield

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -Iran and Pakistan called on the United Nations Security Council in a joint statement issued on Wednesday to take action against Israel, saying it had "illegally" targeted neighbouring countries and foreign diplomatic facilities.

The joint statement, released by Pakistan's foreign ministry, followed a three-day visit to the country by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at a time of heightened tensions in the Middle East.

Explosions were heard last Friday over the Iranian city of Isfahan in what sources said was an Israeli attack. However, Tehran played down the incident and said it had no plans for retaliation.

"Recognizing that the irresponsible act of the Israeli regime forces was a major escalation in an already volatile region, both sides called on the UN Security Council to prevent the Israeli regime from its adventurism in the region and its illegal acts attacking its neighbours...," Iran and Pakistan said in their joint statement.

Muslim neighbours Iran and Pakistan are seeking to mend ties after unprecedented tit-for-tat military strikes this year.

Raisi, who wrapped up his visit and flew on to Sri Lanka on Wednesday, vowed to boost trade between Iran and Pakistan to $10 billion a year.

During his visit to Pakistan, Raisi was quoted by Iran's official IRNA news agency as saying any further Israeli attack on Iranian territory could radically change the dynamics and result in there being nothing left of the "Zionist regime".

On April 13, Tehran launched a barrage of missiles and drones at Israel in what it said was retaliation for Israel's suspected deadly strike on the Iranian embassy compound in Damascus on April 1, but almost all were shot down.

Pakistan has previously called for de-escalation by "all parties".

Iran and Pakistan vowed during Raisi's visit to boost trade and energy cooperation, including on a major gas pipeline deal that has faced delays due to geopolitical issues and international sanctions.

(Reporting by Charlotte GreenfieldEditing by Ros Russell and Gareth Jones)