Updated Apr 12, 2024 - World

Biden tells Iran: Don't attack Israel

US President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, US, on Friday, April 12, 2024

U.S. President Biden in Washington, DC, on Friday, April 12, 2024. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday he expects Iran to launch an attack against Israel "sooner than later" and stressed his message to Tehran is: "Don't".

Why it matters: The Biden administration is concerned an Iranian attack and an Israeli retaliation could lead to another serious escalation in the region.

  • Iran has sent a message to the Biden administration through several Arab countries earlier this week and threatened that if the U.S. gets involved in the fighting between Israel and Iran, U.S. forces in the region will be attacked, Axios reported.

What they are saying: "We are devoted to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help to defend Israel, and Iran will not succeed", Biden said during a news conference.

Driving the news: Iran has publicly vowed to "punish" Israel for the recent assassination of Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a top Iranian Quds Force general in charge of Iran's military operations in Lebanon and Syria.

  • Zahedi was the most senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officer to be killed since the U.S. assassinated Qasem Soleimani in 2020.

State of play: U.S. CENTCOM commander Gen. Michael "Erik" Kurilla has extended his stay in Israel by another day, Israeli officials said.

  • Kurilla arrived in the country Thursday to coordinate the U.S.-Israeli defensive effort ahead of any possible attack by Iran and its proxies.
  • A U.S. defense official told Axios the U.S. is moving additional assets to the region to bolster regional deterrence efforts and increase force protection for U.S. forces.
  • The Biden administration asked Israel in recent days to notify and consult the U.S. in advance of any Israeli retaliation against Iran.
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