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Biden Message to Iran in Retaliation Against Israel: ‘Don’t’

Biden Message to Iran in Retaliation Against Israel: 'Don't'
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Biden Message to Iran in Retaliation Against Israel: ‘Don’t’

Also, he said he expected an Iranian attack “soon.”

President Joe Biden told reporters Friday afternoon that he expected an Iranian attack on Israel “soon” amid immediate concerns that Iran would retaliate for the bombing of its embassy in Damascus, Syria, earlier this month.

Asked what his message was to Iran at the tense moment, Biden said bluntly, “No.”

“Will America Respond?” ABC News chief White House correspondent Mary Bruce asked repeatedly as the president walked away after an unrelated event. He stopped, thought for a moment and then returned to the lecture.

He said, “We are committed to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed.”

President Joe Biden speaks to the National Action Network Convention remotely from the South Court Auditorium of the White House, April 12, 2024. Alex Brandon/AP

Biden’s comments come as other high-level US officials have worked urgently behind the scenes to pressure Iran to back down from threats to launch a retaliatory strike – the latest challenge facing the Biden administration as it seeks a Wants to avoid total regional war. Middle East.

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At the same time, according to American officials, America is transferring troops and other assets to the Middle East because Iran is making a large number of missiles and drones for a possible attack on Israel.

The purpose of the US military deployment was to prevent Iran from launching a large-scale attack and to protect US forces in the region.

According to a US defense official, the assets transferred to the region included both “ships and aircraft”.

Two US Navy destroyers already deployed in the eastern Mediterranean are equipped with the Aegis combat system, which can protect forces in the region from ballistic missile defense.

Two US officials said Iran had prepared more than a hundred cruise missiles for a possible attack.

About 3,400 US troops are in Iraq and Syria, and thousands more in the Middle East region.

Late Friday night, as he boarded Air Force One, Biden told reporters, “I’m always afraid of that,” when asked if he was worried about Iran killing Americans.

Earlier on Friday, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said the administration was monitoring the situation “very closely” and that its top priority was to ensure that Israel is able to defend itself against a potential attack by Iran. While the United States is also “doing everything we can to protect our people and our facilities.”

“It would be imprudent if we did not look at our position in the field to ensure that we are appropriately prepared,” he said.

In a sign of how seriously the US takes the threat of escalating tensions, the Pentagon confirmed on Thursday that Gen. Michael “Eric” Kurilla, commander of US Central Command, recently visited Israel to meet with senior Israeli military leaders. Had “extended” the previously planned visit. Development.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke by phone with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant on Thursday afternoon, Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said, “discussing the current situation in the Middle East and the U.S. efforts to protect Israel from the threats posed by Iran and its proxies.” “Reaffirmed the commitment of.” Pentagon Press Secretary.

 Iranian military commander
A picture of late senior Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani hangs amid rubble after what Syrian and Iranian media described as an Israeli air strike on Iran’s consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus, April 1, 2024. Firas Makdesi/Reuters

Although the U.S. does not have direct diplomatic relations with Iran, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was working with his counterparts in the countries where he was on the phone – to help them dissuade Iran from taking military action. Were encouraged to use their influence. , Action in response to the bombing of the Consulate.

According to Miller, in his conversations with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, Blinken pointed out that “escalation is in nobody’s interest and countries need to be careful not to escalate with Iran.” Should be said for.”

U.S. officials previously told ABC News that the administration believes Iran could retaliate against Israel in the coming days — potentially using drones and missiles to attack “regional assets.” Is – and information about the threat has been shared with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

At a White House press conference on Wednesday, President Biden said Iran was “threatening to launch a significant attack on Israel” and assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of America’s commitment to his country’s security. Is “firm”.

“We will do everything possible to protect Israel,” he said.

Michael Kurilla, head of the United States Central Command meets with IDF chief Aviv Kohavi at the Nevatim airbase in Be’er Sheva, Israel, Nov. 15, 2022. Israeli Defense Forces/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Officials say they believe Iran may change course, but the State Department on Thursday announced new restrictions on American personnel in Israel, banning personnel and their family members from personal travel to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and outside the Gulf. Sheva premises till further notice.

The restrictions have been imposed “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the department’s travel advisory. Miller declined to speak to any specific security assessments that prompted the policy change, but acknowledged Iran’s promise of retaliation.

“Obviously we are monitoring the threat environment in the Middle East and in particular Israel, and that is why we have warned our employees and their family members and announced this to all American citizens who either live in or travel to Israel and are aware of this,” he said. said

Renewed concern about the escalating conflict in the Middle East was sparked by an attack on an Iranian facility in Syria, which Tehran says was carried out by Israel, that killed General Mohammad, a senior leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. 12 people were killed including Reza Jahedi. the corner

Although Israel has struck several targets linked to Iran in recent years, mainly as part of efforts to transfer weapons to Hezbollah and other proxy groups in the region, the Israeli military has not taken credit for the incident in Damascus. is On April 1.

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