US President Joe Biden warns Iran not to proceed with expected attack on Israel

US President Joe Biden warns Iran not to proceed with expected attack on Israel
  • PublishedApril 14, 2024

US President Joe Biden on Friday said he expected Iran to attack Israel “sooner, rather than later” and warned Tehran not to proceed.

Asked by reporters about his message to Iran, Mr Biden said simply, “Don’t,” and he underscored Washington’s commitment to defend Israel.

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

Mr Biden said he would not divulge secure information, but said his expectation was that an attack could come “sooner, rather than later.” He spoke to reporters at the White House after a virtual speech to a civil rights conference.

Israel braced on Friday for an attack by Iran or its proxies as warnings grew of retaliation for an attack on Iran’s embassy compound last week in Damascus that killed a senior commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ overseas Quds Force and six other officers.

Countries including India, France, Poland and Russia have warned their citizens against travel to the region, already on edge over the war in Gaza, now in its seventh month. Germany on Friday called on its citizens to leave Iran.

Israel did not claim responsibility for the air strike on April 1. But Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Israel “must be punished and shall be” for an operation he said was equivalent to an attack on Iranian soil.

Earlier, White House spokesperson John Kirby said the reportedly imminent attack by Iran on Israel was a real and viable threat, but gave no details about any possible timing.

Mr Kirby said the United States was looking at its own force posture in the region in light of Tehran’s threat and was watching the situation very closely.

Qantas reroutes Perth to London flights to avoid Iranian airspace

Qantas has announced that its direct flights from Perth to London will temporarily operate with a stopover in Singapore in order to avoid Iranian airspace.

“We’re temporarily adjusting the flight paths for our flights between Perth and London due to the situation in parts of the Middle East,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

“We’ll reach out to customers directly if there’s any change to their booking,” the spokesperson said.

The return flight, from London to Perth, has an adjusted flight path but can still fly direct due to prevailing winds.

In a similar move, German airline Lufthansa and its subsidiary Austrian Airlines announced they would also stop using Iranian airspace.

“Due to the current situation, Lufthansa is suspending its flights to and from Tehran up to and including Thursday, 18 April,” a company spokesperson said on Friday.

“The airline is also no longer using Iranian airspace.”


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