Biden Warns Attack on Israel by Iran Could Be ‘Sooner Than Later’

Emel Akan
By Emel Akan
April 12, 2024Executive Branch
Biden Warns Attack on Israel by Iran Could Be ‘Sooner Than Later’
President Joe Biden gives remarks virtually to the National Action Network Convention from the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus on April 12, 2024. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden said on Friday that he expects Iran to attack Israel soon and urged Tehran not to proceed.

When asked if an attack on Israel was imminent, the president said he did not want to discuss classified information, but “my expectation is sooner than later.”

The president spoke to reporters after he delivered virtual remarks at the National Action Network Convention from the White House.

When asked about his message to Iran, the president responded, “Don’t.”

Following an airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria on April 1, Tehran has threatened to launch a retaliatory strike against Israel. Reports have indicated that an assault may occur within the next 48 hours.

“We are devoted to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel and help defend Israel. And Iran will not succeed,” President Biden said.

Iran publicly pledged to respond to the attack that destroyed its Consulate, killing high-ranking Iranian military officials.

Israel never claimed responsibility for the airstrike in Damascus, but Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel “must and shall be punished.”

Earlier, the White House also issued a warning regarding the potential threat from Iran, stating that a possible direct attack on Israel was “credible.”

“We still deem the potential threat by Iran here to be real, to be viable, and certainly credible. And we’re watching it as closely as we can,” John Kirby, White House national security communications adviser, told reporters during a call on Friday.

“Right now, our focus is on having conversations with Israeli counterparts,” he said, adding that Washington is ensuring Israel receives the assistance it requires to defend itself.

However, Mr. Kirby declined to address the intelligence community’s assessment of the potential size and extent of this potential attack.

President Joe Biden responded to these threats on Wednesday from the White House during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The U.S. “commitment to Israel’s security against these threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad,” President Biden said.

“Let me say it again: ironclad. We’re going to do all we can to protect Israel’s security.”

Iran has been supporting Hamas for decades, dating back to the early 1990s. Iran’s Islamic regime provides both funds and weaponry to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups.

In recent years, Iran has increased monetary support for Hamas. In a 2020 report, the State Department stated that “Iran historically provided up to $100 million annually in combined support to Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas.”

A new report by The Times revealed that Iran has provided at least £200 million ($250 million) to the terrorist group since 2014, based on the letters exchanged between Hamas leaders.

The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem issued a security warning to government employees and their family members in Israel.

“The security environment remains complex and can change quickly depending on the political situation and recent events,” the security alert said.

“Out of an abundance of caution, U.S. government employees and their family members are restricted from personal travel outside the greater Tel Aviv (including Herzliya, Netanya, and Even Yehuda), Jerusalem, and Be’er Sheva areas until further notice.”

When asked if U.S. assets in the region are under threat, Mr. Kirby said, “We’re doing everything we can to protect our people and our facilities.”

He also stated that President Biden is following the Iran threat closely.

“He is being briefed by the national security team multiple times a day,” he said.

The president has made it clear, he added, that the United States will “take seriously our commitments to the self-defense of Israel.”

Trump Criticizes Biden’s Warning

Former President Donald Trump called President Biden’s comments “pretty pathetic” during a press conference with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) Friday afternoon at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

“For the president of our country to actually put out a warning that he thinks that we’re going to be attacked or they’re going to be attacked—it’s pretty pathetic,” the former president said. “They wouldn’t be attacking Israel if I were president, that I can tell you, and they never did. They wouldn’t be attacking. Iran was in no position to attack; they had no money. They were broke.”

Meanwhile, Israel promised to retaliate if there’s any attack by Iran.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issued a warning on April 10 while visiting troops at an Iron Dome battery in northern Israel.

Any attack on Israel would result in a strong defense followed by a “powerful response in its territory,” Mr. Gallant said, according to The Times of Israel.

“In this war, we are being attacked from more than one front … from different directions. Any enemy that tries to attack us will first of all be met with a strong defense,” the defense minister said. “But we will know how to react very quickly with a decisive offensive action against the territory of whoever attacks our territory, no matter where it is, in the entire Middle East.”

Hamas stated on April 9 that the current conditions of a ceasefire deal did not meet its demand, following lengthy negotiations between the parties. The latest plan was presented to Hamas over the last weekend during talks held in Cairo.

The terrorist group is still holding nearly 130 people hostage, including several American civilians, who were abducted from Israel on Oct. 7, 2023.

The proposed deal would have allowed the release of some 40 Israeli hostages in return for a temporary truce and the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

Israel “remains stubborn and has not responded to any of the demands of our people and our resistance,” Hamas said in a statement issued on April 9, per media reports.

Vice President Kamala Harris on April 9 met with families of Americans who have been held hostage by the terrorist group for more than 180 days.

After the meeting, Jonathan Dekel-Chen, the father of American hostage Sagui Dekel-Chen, said they are encouraging all parties to reach a deal.

“What we have heard is that there is a deal on the table right now that all of the parties agree to and are willing to work with,” he told reporters at the White House. “We are waiting now, and the world waits for Hamas to get to ‘yes.’ It is in their court.”

Katabella Roberts contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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