Biden Convenes G7 Summit to Address Iranian Threats and Prevent Escalation After Attack on Israel

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden convened the Group of Seven advanced democracies on Sunday to coordinate a joint response to and prevent further escalation after.

The United States said that Iran had launched an attack on Israel by firing missiles, which was the first time that Iran has directly attacked Israel militarily. Israeli authorities said 99% of the incoming weapons were intercepted without causing significant damage.

“At my direction, to support Israel’s defense, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the past week,” Biden said in a statement late Saturday. “Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles.”

Biden, in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that night, urged restraint as the president aimed to discourage America’s closest Mideast ally from a larger retaliatory strike against Iran. Biden, according to a senior administration official, told Netanyahu that the U.S. would not participate in any offensive action against Iran. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the private conversation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

“I told him that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks -– sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel,” Biden said in his statement.

The G7 meeting, Biden said, is intended “to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack.”

The effort to encourage restraint by Israel mirrored ongoing American efforts to curtail Israel’s conflict in Gaza, which is now in its seventh month, and to do more to protect civilian lives in the territory.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, criticized White House for “leaking it to the press” that Biden told Netanyahu to take the win and not retaliate.

Rubio told CNN’s “State of the Union” that it wast “part of the White House’s efforts to appease” people calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.