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Iran raps UK stance on Israeli strike as Cameron calls for restraint

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollian held phone talks on Thursday, according to IRNA.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has called the Iranian foreign minister to appeal for "restraint" by the Islamic Republic which has vowed to avenge an Israeli attack on Tehran's consular section in Damascus.

The UK's top diplomat, however, got a dressing-down from his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollian on Thursday over Britain's refusal to condemn the aggression.

"Regarding the Israeli regime's airstrike on the consular section of the Islamic Republic of Iran embassy in Damascus, Amir- Abdollahian criticized the inaction of Britain in condemning" the attack, official news agency IRNA reported.

Last week, Britain joined the United States and France in opposing a Russian-drafted UN Security Council statement that would have condemned the Israeli attack.

In their phone talks on Thursday, Cameron and Amir-Abdollahian discussed the latest developments in the region and the relations between the two countries, IRNA said.

"Tehran has never sought to escalate tension in the region, but the Israeli regime's terrorist attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus and the silence of the United States and England means encouraging [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to continue waging war and expanding it in the region," he said.

The Iranian minister "stressed the need to immediately stop genocide and war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank as the only effective way to return peace to the region", IRNA said.

Amir-Abdollahian also touched on Britain's participation in a US-led military campaign in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden against Yemen which has been targeting Israeli interests in solidarity with the Palestinians in recent months.

"The root of the crisis is not in the Red Sea but in the genocide in Gaza," he said, rebutting London's claim to the contrary.

Cameron called for restraint by Iran, cautioning about a further expansion of the conflicts in its absence. 

He also expressed concern about the continuation of tensions in the Red Sea amid the Gaza war, saying the US has presented a plan which could bring a ceasefire within reach if the warring parties agreed to it.  

Cameron offered Eid al-Fitr felicitations and expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved in some areas of cooperation between Iran and the UK.

The two sides also expressed their desire to continue joint efforts to strengthen cooperation in an environment based on mutual respect, IRNA said.

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