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Israel and its embassies brace for Iranian attack

Iran has vowed revenge on Israel following an airstrike that killed two senior Iranian commanders in Damascus last week.
TJI Wrap
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Yahya Rahim Safavi_

Yahya Rahim Safavi, adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who this week threatened Israeli embassies (Creative Commons)

Published: 9 April 2024

Last updated: 9 April 2024

Israel is preparing for attacks on its embassies and even the possibility of war with Iran, after Iranian authorities warned Israel would “not go unpunished” for an airstrike that killed two senior Iranian commanders last week.

“The embassies of the Zionist regime are no longer safe,” Yahya Rahim Safavi, senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by Iran's ISNA news agency. He said Tehran viewed confrontation with Israel as a “legitimate and legal right”.

The news agency also published a graphic that it claims showcases nine types of Iranian missiles capable of hitting Israel.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack but has argued that the target was a “military building of Quds forces” — a unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which the US designates as a terrorist organisation.

I won’t be surprised if Iran fires directly at Israel

Former Military Intelligence head Amos Yadlin

“This is no consulate, and this is no embassy,” Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told CNN.

The IDF has bolstered its air defence array and had called up reservists, as the country girded for a potential Iranian response to the strike, either directly or through its Lebanon-based proxy Hezbollah.

“I won’t be surprised if Iran fires directly at Israel,” former Military Intelligence head Amos Yadlin told Israel’s Channel 12, explaining that a January missile strike carried out by Iran on neighbouring Pakistan set a precedent for such action.

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel is “increasing preparedness” and expanding operations against Hezbollah.

“We need to be prepared and ready for every scenario and every threat” against near enemies and distant enemies,” Gallant said.

Several rockets have been fired at Israel from Lebanon by Hezbollah since last week’s attack, but there has been no indication that they went beyond daily cross-border fire that has raised tensions on Israel’s northern frontier since October 8.

There has been speculation that Israel’s withdrawal of several units from Gaza this week was to redeploy forces to protect the north, although an alternative scenario is that these units are being prepared for an invasion of Rafah.

The US is also concerned Iran could unleash its proxies on US forces, or ramp up its nuclear program, which the United States and its allies have long sought to rein in.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, U.S. officials told Reuters they were watching closely to see if, as in the past, Iran-backed proxies would attack US troops based in Iraq and Syria.

Such Iranian attacks ceased in February after Washington retaliated for the killing of three U.S. troops in Jordan with dozens of air strikes on targets in Syria and Iraq linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and militias it backs.


Iran FM threatens Israel amid symbolic visit to Damascus (Jerusalem Post)

Israel beefs up air defences, calls up troops as Iran payback for Syria strike looms (Times of Israel)

Many Iranian options to retaliate against Israel, but all carry risk (Reuters)

U.S. on high alert for "significant" attack from Iran (CNN)


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