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‘Don’t do it’: Biden warns Iran against attacks on Israel

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‘Don’t do it’: Biden warns Iran against attacks on Israel

The background is the growing tensions between Iran and Israel. The mullahs’ regime announced a retaliatory strike against Israel after senior Iranian commanders were killed at the Iranian embassy in Damascus. The US expects Iran to attack several targets inside Israel in the coming days, CNN reported, citing intelligence sources. According to the TV station, the US government is on “high alert”.

The US has observed that Iran is moving military assets, including drones and cruise missiles, domestically, indicating that it is preparing to attack Israeli targets from its own territory, two people familiar with US intelligence said, according to CNN . One of the two said that the US had observed that Iran had up to 100 cruise missiles ready.


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“Sooner rather than later”

US President Joe Biden said on Friday that Iran’s attacks were feared “sooner rather than later”. The start of an interstate conflict between Iran and Israel would mean a serious escalation in the region – a scenario that the US has been hoping to avoid since the war between Israel and the radical Islamic group Hamas began in October.

The US “will support Israel, we will help defend Israel, and Iran will not succeed,” Biden emphasized again. Asked about his message for Iran, he replied with a view to a possible attack: “Don’t do it.” Biden had already assured Israel of the “unwavering” support of the USA on Wednesday.

The situation also poses great difficulties for Iran

In the Middle East all signs point to escalation. US President Joe Biden expects Iran to attempt an attack on Israel soon. Several airlines have suspended their flights to and from Tehran, including AUA. Austria and other countries called on their nationals to leave Iran. Nikolaus Wildner reports with a current assessment of the situation.

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US reinforcements on the way to the region

In view of a possible Iranian attack on Israel, the USA also announced that it would send reinforcements to the Middle East. “Additional resources” would be moved to the Middle East “to strengthen regional deterrence and increase the protection of US forces,” US government sources said. No information was given about the type of reinforcement.

Earlier, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby reiterated that the US continued to view the potential threat from Iran as “tangible and real.” On the one hand, the USA would support the Israelis in their defense and, on the other hand, ensure that its own armed forces in the region are “properly prepared”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, meanwhile, called on China, but also other countries such as Saudi Arabia, to influence Iran to prevent escalation. China, in turn, said it insisted that the USA had to play a “constructive role” in the conflict.

IMAGO/ZUMA Wire/Iranian Supreme Leader’s Office Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is under pressure to act after the attack

Open threat of retaliation

Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, threatened Israel on Wednesday with retaliation for an attack attributed to Israel on an Iranian consular building in the Syrian capital Damascus. 16 people were killed in the attack at the beginning of April. Among the dead were two generals of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and five other members of the elite force.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned: “If Iran attacks from its territory, Israel will respond and attack Iran.” Defense Minister Joav Galant made a similar statement.

Call to leave Iran

The Foreign Ministry in Vienna made changes on Friday evening Travel advice for Iran and called on all Austrians to leave Iran. There is a warning before traveling to the country that security level six applies: “Especially in the coming days, an increased risk can be expected due to the current tense situation in the region. Austrians staying here are urged to exercise particular caution,” said the ministry.

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Other countries also tightened their warnings against traveling to Iran. According to the German Foreign Ministry, the security situation could deteriorate “quickly and without warning”. The Netherlands announced the “precautionary” closure of its embassy in Tehran on Sunday. According to the Foreign Office in Berlin, the relatives of the German delegates are leaving the city.

Airlines change flight routes

Due to the escalation, Austrian Airlines is suspending its flights to and from Tehran until Thursday, April 18th. Long routes that pass through Iranian airspace will be rerouted accordingly, the airline said in a statement. The situation in the Middle East is being continually evaluated and we are in close contact with the authorities. AUA parent Lufthansa had previously canceled its flights to and from Tehran.

Other airlines are also avoiding the airspace over Iran in view of the threats, including the Dutch KLM and the Australian Qantas. Qantas’ Perth – London route, which was actually flown without a stopover, will stop in Singapore to refuel until further notice. This makes it possible to avoid flying through dangerous airspace, the AAP news agency quoted the airline as saying. From now on, KLM will no longer fly over Iran and most of Israel “as a precautionary measure”, but will still fly to Tel Aviv.

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