Top Iranian commanders warned Israel on Sunday that the country would face a bigger attack if it retaliates against overnight drone and missile strikes, adding that Washington has been told not to back any military action from its ally.

“Our response will be much larger than tonight’s military action if Israel retaliates against Iran,” Iran’s armed forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri told state TV, adding that Tehran warned Washington that any backing of Israeli retaliation would result in US bases being targeted.

“If the Zionist regime (Israel) or its supporters demonstrate reckless behavior, they will receive a decisive and much stronger response,” Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi said in a statement.

The commander of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami, also warned that Tehran would retaliate against any Israeli attack on its interests, officials or citizens. He said Tehran had created a “new equation” in which any Israeli attack on its interests, assets, officials or citizens would be reciprocated from its own territory. Salami also said the operation was a success “beyond expectations.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in a meeting with foreign ambassadors in Tehran on Sunday that his country had informed the US that its attacks against Israel will be “limited” and for self-defense.

Meanwhile, the Hamas terror group, one of Iran’s proxies in the region, jumped to Tehran’s defense after the attack.

“We in Hamas regard the military operation conducted by the Islamic Republic of Iran a natural right and a deserved response on the crime of targeting the Iranian consulate in Damascus and the assassination of several leaders of the Revolutionary Guards,” the Palestinian group said in a statement. Israel is engaged in a war, now in its seventh month, with Hamas after the Gazan terror group killed nearly 1,200 people and abducted 253 in a shock onslaught on October 7.

Israel reported modest damage and reopened its airspace after Iran launched a large wave of around 300 attack drones and missiles in the first-ever direct attack on the Jewish state by the Islamic republic, while the United States said it would discuss a diplomatic response with major powers on Sunday.

Tehran’s attacks late on Saturday — launched after a alleged Israeli airstrike on its embassy compound in Damascus on April 1 that killed officers of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a US-designated terror group — raised the threat of a wider regional conflict.

Iran had previously relied on its proxies across the region to attack Israeli and US targets in a show of support for Hamas in the ongoing war in Gaza, which shows no sign of easing despite numerous mediation efforts.

“We intercepted, we repelled, together we shall win,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on X, formerly Twitter, after the Iranian attack.

The Israel Defense Forces said more than 99 percent of the Iranian drones and missiles had been shot down by its air force and by allied countries, and it was discussing follow-up options.

Channel 12 TV cited an unnamed Israeli official as saying there would be a “significant response” to the attack.

The war in Gaza has ratcheted up tensions in the region, spreading to fronts with Lebanon and Syria and drawing long-range fire at Israeli targets from as far away as Yemen and Iraq.

Iran’s most powerful ally in the region, the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah — which has been exchanging fire with Israel since October 8 — said early on Sunday it had fired dozens of rockets at an IDF base in the north.

Drones were also reportedly launched against Israel by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, which has attacked shipping lanes in and around the Red Sea to show solidarity with Hamas, British maritime security company Ambrey said in a statement.

Those clashes now threaten to devolve into a direct open conflict pitting Iran and its regional allies against Israel and its main supporter, the United States. Regional power Egypt urged “utmost restraint.”

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari called Iran’s actions “very grave,” saying during a televised briefing that they “push the region toward escalation.”

The Iranian salvo caused light damage to an Israel Air Force base in the south, Hagari said.

Iran had vowed retaliation for what it called the Israeli strike on its embassy compound that killed seven IRGC officers, including two senior commanders. Tehran said its strike was punishment for “Israeli crimes.” Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the consulate attack.

“Should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe,” the Iranian mission to the United Nations said, warning the US to “stay away.” However, it also said Iran now “deemed the matter concluded.”

US President Joe Biden, who spoke by phone with Netanyahu after the Iranian attack, said he would convene a meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven major economies on Sunday to coordinate a diplomatic response to what he called Tehran’s “brazen” attack.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said America did not seek conflict with Iran but would not hesitate to act to protect US forces and support the defense of Israel.

The UN Security Council was set to meet at 4 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) on Sunday after Israel requested it condemn Iran’s attack and designate the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization.

Iran’s Fars news agency quoted a source as saying Tehran was closely watching Jordan, which might become the next target in case of any moves in support of Israel.

Source: CF

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