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Russia: We Told Israel ‘Iran Does Not Want Escalation’

Moscow Kremlin wall. Maxim Shklyaev / pexels

Russia has made clear to Israel that Iran "does not want escalation," Moscow's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday, after reports Israel had carried out retaliatory strikes against its arch-rival.

"There have been telephone contacts between the leadership of Russia and Iran, our representatives and the Israelis. We made it very clear in these conversations, we told the Israelis that Iran does not want escalation," Lavrov said in an interview with Russian radio stations.

The Kremlin also said Friday it was looking into the reports that Israel carried out a strike on Iran and urged all sides to exercise "restraint" to prevent further escalation.

"We continue to favor restraint on the sides and to refrain from any action that could provoke further escalation in such a sensitive region," spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

An apparent Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1 killed seven members of the Revolutionary Guards force, including its top commander for Iran and Lebanon, and enraged Iran as well as troubled Israel's Western allies.

Iran, which does not recognize Israel, responded by launching hundreds of drones and missiles to attack Israel in an unprecedented assault, all largely shot down by Israel and its allies, with the Israeli strike overnight Friday seen as retaliation against Tehran.

Iran's state media reported explosions in the central province of Isfahan with Iranian officials quoted by the New York Times saying said the attack was carried out by small drones, possibly launched from inside Iran.

There was no indication the reported attack was directed against a site of Iran's controversial nuclear program, even though Isfahan province is known to host key atomic installations.

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