The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and the French counterpartKatrin Colonna discussed measures today to “prevent escalation in Lebanon and Iran” following attacks in those Middle Eastern countries, the State Department announced today.

In their telephone conversation, the two ministers stressed “the importance of measures to prevent the escalation of the conflict raging in Gaza, including measures to reduce tension in the West Bank and prevent escalation in Lebanon and Iran.” according to a statement from spokesman Matthew Miller.

Blinken is expected to leave this evening for the Middle Eastfor a new tour of the region with a planned stop in Israel, as fears grow of a regional escalation in the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday called on Israel to “avoid any tactic of escalation especially in Lebanon” after the death of Hamas second-in-command Saleh al-Aruri in a Beirut suburb in an attack attributed to Israel.

A US defense official said on Wednesday night that Israel carried out the strike.

Also on Wednesday, 84 people were killed in a twin explosion in Iran near the tomb of General Qassem Soleimani, the former architect of Iran’s Middle East operations, on the same day as Iran marked the fourth anniversary of his death, further intensifying tensions regional tensions.