Iran tells US to "step aside" as it prepares to attack Israel

Iran tells US to "step aside" as it prepares to attack Israel
Iran has warned the US not to get involved in its anticipated reprisal attack on Israel after Tel Aviv allegedly killed senior Iranian commanders in Syria.
3 min read
06 April, 2024
Protest against Israeli airstrike on Iranian consulate compound in Syria [GETTY]

Iran has warned the United States not to get involved as the country prepares to respond to a suspected Israeli airstrike that hit the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria, on Monday.

In post on X on Friday, the Iranian president's deputy chief of staff for political affairs, told the US to "step aside so you won't get hit" and warned Washington not fall into Prime Minister Netanyahu's "trap".

Jamshidi says the US responded by asking Iran not to target American facilities.

Iran pledged to punish Israel at a funeral for the seven officers killed on Friday. State television showed demonstrators carrying pictures of those killed and banners with slogans such as "Death to Israel" and "Death to America".

The US is reportedly on "high alert" and is preparing for a possible attack by Iran targeting Israeli or American assets in the region. An American official told CNN that an attack could come in the next week.

A senior Biden administration official had said the US "fully supports" Israel's defence against threats from Iran.

Seven officers were killed after the suspected Israeli warplanes targeted Iran's embassy in Damascus, marking an escalation in Israel's war with Iran.

The airstrike was the boldest and deadliest attack in a series that had killed Iranian officials in Syria since December when an Israeli airstrike killed a senior adviser in Iran's Revolutionary Guards in Damascus.

An Israeli airstrike also killed 42 people near Aleppo in March.

One of Iran's top soldiers, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was one of the seven officers murdered while visiting the embassy.

An Israeli source confirmed to Israeli media that 28 Israeli embassies worldwide were closed on Friday as a "precautionary move" amid fears of a retaliatory response as pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in Iran and around the world to celebrate Quds (Jerusalem) Day, marked on the last Friday of Ramadan.

Tensions have been escalating between Iran and Israel amid Israel's war on Gaza, which has since killed over 33,000 Palestinian civilians.

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Iran and its proxies and allies in the so-called "Axis of Resistance", including Yemen's Houthi militants, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and groups in Syria and Iraq, have been carrying out attacks on Israel and its allies to show solidarity with the Palestinians.

The coalition was formed as an informal anti-Israeli and anti-Western political and military coalition led by the Iranian government.

The head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, said that the Lebanese group was "fully prepared" for a war with Israel in a speech on Friday celebrating Jerusalem Day.