German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday condemned Iranian airstrikes on Israel "in the strongest possible terms," a spokesperson said during a visit by Scholz to China.

"With this irresponsible and unjustifiable attack, Iran is risking a regional conflagration," government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said after Scholz's arrival in the Chinese city of Chongqing.

"Germany stands closely by Israel's side," Hebestreit said. "We will now discuss further reactions closely with our G7 partners and allies."

Iran launched a swarm of explosive drones and fired missiles at Israel late on Saturday in its first-ever direct attack on Israeli territory, risking a major escalation.

Iran had vowed retaliation for what it called an Israeli strike on its Damascus consulate on April 1 that killed seven Revolutionary Guards officers including two senior commanders.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the consulate attack.

Scholz started his three-day visit to China in Chongqing. Talks with the Chinese leadership in Beijing are planned for Tuesday.

The chancellor was kept informed of developments in the Middle East during the night on the flight to Chongqing, according to government sources. The delegation has been in close contact with German security authorities, the sources said.

(Reporting by Andrea Rinke; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Chizu Nomiyama)