Biden Admin Worries Behind Closed Doors That Iran Will Strike US Targets Over Defense Of Israel: REPORT

(Photo by MURTAJA LATEEF/AFP via Getty Images)

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Jake Smith Contributor
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The Biden administration’s concerns are growing that Iran will strike U.S. targets if it helps defend Israel against a potential retaliatory strike, The Intercept reported on Wednesday.

Iran has vowed retaliation against Israel for its airstrikes against Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) targets in Syria last week that killed several high-level officials and has gone so far as to blame the U.S. for backing Israel’s attack. Iran warned the Biden administration on Monday that if it interferes with its retaliation against Israel, it would consider striking U.S. targets, according to a White House National Security Council (NSC) readout of the warning reviewed by the Intercept. (RELATED: Biden Admin Considers Not Calling Terrorists ‘Terrorists’ If They Stop Shooting Rockets At Ships)

The Biden administration quickly distanced itself from the Israeli strike in the aftermath of the attack, saying it had little advance knowledge of Israel’s plan and directly telling Tehran it had nothing to do with it. The NSC held a meeting on Tuesday and discussed concerns that it did not want to appear as though it had been communicating with Tehran, as the U.S. and Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, have no formal diplomatic relations, according to notes of the meeting reviewed by the Intercept.

“I don’t have anything more to say about the strike in Damascus, except that we weren’t involved in any way whatsoever,” NSC spokesman John Kirby said during a press briefing on Monday.

Iran is the primary backer of Hamas, the terrorist group responsible for invading Israel on Oct. 7 and killing roughly 1,200 people, prompting a swift and ongoing counteroffensive operation against the terrorist group in Gaza. Israel has condemned Iran for its role in backing Hamas and Tehran’s ongoing support for further attacks.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 04: White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre talk to reporters during the daily news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 04, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Biden administration has claimed that it does not seek a wider war in the Middle East or a direct conflict with Tehran. Iran has launched several attacks through its terror proxy groups against U.S., Israeli and coalition forces throughout the Middle East since Oct. 7.

One strike launched by an Iranian terror group in January against a base in Jordan killed three U.S. troops, prompting a series of U.S. retaliatory strikes against targets in Iraq and Syria. Iran’s proxies largely curbed their hostilities in the aftermath of the U.S. retaliation, but Israel’s strikes in Syria last week may spur Tehran to resume its attacks against Israeli and American forces, experts previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“This is the exact kind of thing that can produce an escalation cycle,” Michael DiMino, a senior fellow at Defense Priorities and former CIA officer, previously told the DCNF. “I do think that Iran is going to weigh their capabilities here.”

The NSC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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