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Former CIA Director David Petraeus called the Iranian attack on Israel a “very big deal,” in an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Well, it is significant. It’s a very big deal. And I think Israel will have to take some action in response,” Petraeus said.

“I think it’s very clear that the U.S. would like to see that be as limited as is possible. Keep in mind that the real issue here, in addition to Israel’s security, of course, which is first and foremost, but it’s also about freedom of navigation from the Gulf or the oil and gas that come from the Gulf and fuel much of the global economy,” he continued.

Petraeus said he thinks it’s in everyone’s interest not to continue escalating the situation, noting Iran likely wants to be careful to preserve freedom of navigation in the Gulf, since they export more than a million barrels each day and likely do not want to interfere with that.

“That’s the biggest issue here. And Iran, I don’t think, wants to have that disrupted either, because they export about 1.6 or 1.7 million barrels a day themselves. So, keep your eye on that. Brent crude is already above $90 a barrel, and it would really spike if there was something that interfered with freedom of navigation,” he said. “In, fact we need to figure out what’s going on. Iran did take a ship the other day that they claimed was in some way dealing with Israel.”

“But this is another step up the rung of escalation. I think it’s in the interest of everyone to stop the increasing escalation. But we will have to see what Israel decides to do in this case,” Petraeus added.

Iran launched dozens of missiles in Israel’s direction on Saturday, the “vast majority” of which were intercepted by Israeli, U.S. and other allies’ assistance.

The U.S. and other western allies have pledged support for Israel. Petraeus noted there are many possible responses Israel can take – not all of which are as escalatory in nature.

“There’s a — the whole menu of actions that they can take, not all of which are necessarily overt. They can pursue covert. They can pursue asymmetric attacks, cyberspace and so forth. And keep in mind that, of course, Washington is meeting with the other G7 countries to determine what kind of diplomatic and economic responses should follow in a coordinated effort as well,” he said.

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