8 Apr 2024

Israel prepared to handle any Iran scenario, defence chief says

6:23 am on 8 April 2024
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant leaves the State Department after meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the US State Department in Washington, DC, on March 25, 2024. The White House said Monday it was "perplexed" and "disappointed" by the cancelation of an Israeli delegation's planned visit to discuss US concerns over a possible offensive in southern Gaza. Israel scrapped the visit after the United States abstained from a UN Security Council vote demanding an "immediate ceasefire" in Gaza -- a move that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said hurt Israel's fight against Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP)

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant leaves the State Department after meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington DC, on 25 March 2024. Photo: AFP

Israel's defence minister said on Sunday that the country was ready to handle any scenario after Iran threatened to retaliate for the killing of Iranian generals on 1 April.

An Iranian official said on Sunday that Israeli embassies were not safe, and a semi-official news agency published a graphic showing weapons that it said would be capable of striking Israel.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant's office made the statement about preparedness after he held an "operational situation assessment" with senior military officers.

"Upon completing the assessment, Minister Gallant emphasised that the defence establishment has completed preparations for responses in the event of any scenario that may develop vis-à-vis Iran," his office said.

Iran has threatened to respond to a suspected Israeli strike in Damascus that killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps members, among them a senior commander.

A senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader, Yahya Rahim Safavi, said on Sunday that none of Israel's embassies were safe anymore and that Tehran viewed confrontation with Israel as a "legitimate and legal right."

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency published a graphic on Sunday that it said showcased nine different types of Iranian missiles it says are capable of hitting Israel.

Israel has not confirmed it was behind the strike on Damascus. Its leaders have said in more general terms that they are operating against Iran, which backs militant groups Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, both of which have been in combat with Israel for the past six months.

The United States is also on high alert and preparing for a possible attack by Iran targeting Israeli or American assets in the region.

Israel, Argentine and US authorities have blamed Iran for being behind the 1994 deadly bombing of a Jewish centre in Argentina's capital, which killed 85 people and for which Tehran denied any involvement.

- Reuters

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