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Don’t fall into Israeli ‘trap’, Iran warns US

Israel is bracing for an Iranian counterattack after striking Tehran’s embassy in Damascus

Iran has warned the US to “stay away” from any potential clash between itself and Israel, while Washington has cautioned Tehran against targeting American facilities, Iranian presidential aide Mohammad Jamshidi said on Friday.

“In a written message, the Islamic Republic of Iran warns US leadership not to get dragged in [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s trap for [the] US: Stay away so you won’t get hurt,” Jamshidi wrote on X (formerly Twitter). 

“In response, [the] US asked Iran not to target American facilities,” he added.

Iran accused the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) of carrying out an airstrike on its consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Monday, killing seven officers of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, including two generals. While the IDF followed its usual policy of neither confirming nor denying operations on foreign soil, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant inferred responsibility when he said on Wednesday that Israel “strikes our enemies all over the Middle East.”

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Iran promises Israel ‘slap in the face’

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed to retaliate, stating on Wednesday that Israel will “of course receive a slap in the face for this move.” The IDF responded by canceling all leave and scrambling satellite signals over Tel Aviv in anticipation of a strike in response.

US officials have not said whether an Iranian assault on Israel would be grounds for military intervention. However, Washington has repeatedly warned Iran to stay out of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, and Tehran has largely complied. Rather than participating in the conflict directly, Iran has continued its existing policy of arming and training Shia militias in Iraq and Syria, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, who have traded fire with American and Israeli forces since the conflict began in October.

Speaking to CNN on Thursday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the US is “very concerned” about the potential for war between Israel and Iran, before adding that the US will continue to provide military aid to Israel.


READ MORE: Israel fires senior officers over drone strikes

Jamshidi’s post is the first acknowledgment by either side of back-channel talks between Washington and Tehran since the embassy strike. However, an anonymous American official told Axios on Tuesday that the US “directly” informed Iran that it “had no involvement in the strike and we did not know about it ahead of time.”

Speaking after a funeral procession for the slain officers in Tehran on Friday, IRGC commander Hossein Salami told a crowd of mourners that “no action by any enemy concerning [the Islamic Republic] will go unanswered.”

 

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