White House says it is watching Iranian threat “very, very closely”

There is a “very credible” threat of Iranian retaliatory attacks against Israel, the White House said on Friday (12), as US President Joe Biden receives constant updates on the status of his national security team.

“We are watching this very, very closely,” said national security spokesman John Kirby, who declined to provide information on the expected timing of the threat.

But he said US officials are in “constant communication” with their Israeli partners on the issue and that steps are underway to ensure Israel is able to defend itself.

“We are certainly aware of a very public threat and what we consider to be a very credible threat made by Iran in terms of potential attacks on Israel,” Kirby said.

He pointed to a visit to Israel on Friday by the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Michael Kurilla, to have “these conversations directly with his (Israeli Defense Forces) counterparts.” 

Biden also receives briefings several times a day on the situation, Kirby said. “He made it clear to the entire national security team that we will take our commitments to Israel’s defense and self-defense seriously.”

The US is also assessing its own posture in the region ahead of a potential retaliatory strike, he added.