Map locating Iran, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Israel

South Africa has expressed concern over the recent Israel and Iran conflict, noting that the common people will "bear the brunt of conflict." Hence, it is not advisable to engage in a war.

"The Government of South Africa is gravely concerned at developments in the Middle East following the retaliatory action by the Islamic Republic of Iran against Israel following Israel's attacks on Iran's Embassy in Damascus, Syria, on 1 April 2024," Department of International and Relations Cooperation (DIRCO) said on Sunday, as per official statement.

The statement highlighted Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres' words as he said there is a "very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation," noting that in this context, South Africa is urging all "parties must exercise the utmost restraint and avoid any act that would escalate tensions in a particularly fragile region."

South Africa has consistently emphasized that even if countries think their use of force is justified, going to war is never a good idea because it's the common people who suffer the most in conflicts.

South African government suggested that the international community, especially the United Nations Security Council, should work towards achieving long-lasting and fair peace for everyone.

"While we turn our attention to these developments, let us not forget that the war in Gaza continues with devastating humanitarian consequences for its people. An immediate ceasefire and urgent humanitarian access are required," the statement mentioned.

It added, "The proliferation of global conflicts will continue if we, as the international community, do not commit ourselves to the ending of war and the establishment of conditions under which justice and respect for international law are maintained. As long as there is impunity for unlawful acts, war and injustice will continue."

The conflict began when Israel attacked Iran's embassy in Syria on April 1 and in response, Iran launched hundreds of missiles and drones on Israel. However, almost all the Iranian drones and missiles were intercepted before they reached Israeli territory, as per the Israeli Army.

While South Africa is urging that going to war is not a good idea, the United States said on Sunday that it will not join Israel if the country counterattacks Iran.