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Biden says he expects Iranian strike on Israel ‘sooner than later’

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Friday that he expects Iran to strike Israel soon, and reiterated that the United States will support and defend Israel if such an attack occurs.

At a White House event, when asked by reporters how imminent he thought an Iranian attack might be, Biden said that while he didn’t want to discuss “secure information,” he expected “as soon as possible”.

When asked what his message was to Iran, Biden replied: “Don’t do it.”

“We are dedicated to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel, we will help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed,” he said.

Earlier in the day, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that U.S. officials were in “constant communication” with their Israeli counterparts “to ensure that they can defend against this kind of attacks.”

“We think it’s still a viable threat,” Kirby said. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that Israel can defend itself.”

Iran accused Israel of striking its consulate in Damascus on April 1. Israeli officials said it was a building disguised as a diplomatic mission and was used by Iran’s Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iranian officials, including the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have vowed to fight back. In response, Israel threatened to launch a direct strike against Iran if it was attacked.

The U.S. military has been moving its assets in the Middle East and near Israel in anticipation of possible retaliation from Iran, according to three U.S. officials. Most of the assets involved are already deployed and are being moved to be better positioned for the defense of Israel and US assets in the region and in case the US needs to respond to anything the US does. Iran, officials said.

NBC News reported last week that an Iranian attack on Israel could focus on military or intelligence targets, rather than civilians, two U.S. officials said.

News Source : www.nbcnews.com
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