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Putin Urges Restraint in Call With Iran's Raisi

Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi. Pavel Bednyakov, RIA Novosti /

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned during a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday that any further escalation in the Middle East could have "catastrophic consequences."

"Vladimir Putin expressed the hope that all sides would show reasonable restraint and prevent a new round of confrontation [that could be] fraught with catastrophic consequences for the entire region," the Kremlin said in a readout of the call.

An already tense situation in the Middle East grew even more precarious over the weekend after Iran and its allies launched a barrage of over 300 missiles and drones against Israel, which said it managed to destroy 99% of the projectiles with air defense systems.

Tehran said the air assault was an act of self-defense in retaliation for a deadly Israeli strike on its consulate in Syria earlier this month. Israel, in its turn, has vowed to respond to Iran's weekend attack but has not yet given details about what that response would look like.

"The escalating situation in the Middle East following the Israeli airstrike on the Iranian diplomatic mission in Damascus and the retaliatory measures taken by Iran were discussed in detail," the Kremlin said.

Moscow and Iran are close military and political allies. The Kremlin said that Tuesday's call was held at the request of the Iranian side.

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