Iran reportedly threatened to attack if the United States strikes Syria. The threats were part of an order reportedly intercepted by the US from Iran to militants in Iraq.
The order said to attack the US Embassy and other American interests in Iraq should the US send cruise missiles toward the Iranian ally.
The reported Iranian threat is just one of several aimed at the United States this past week as the nation debates whether or not to punish Syria for its reported use of chemical weapons.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that military officials are trying to predict the response of such an attack from Syria, Iran, and their allies in the region.
US officials are also on alert for Iran’s small fleet of fast boats in the Persian Gulf. American warships are already positioned there, waiting for potential orders from Washington, D.C.
Al Jazeera notes that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also spoke about possible Iranian retaliation for US intervention in Syria.
Khameni asserted that the US and its allies “are using the chemical weapon [allegation] as a pretext.” He added that “the United States is wrong about Syria,” and that the country will end up just like Afghanistan and Iraq.
As Iran threatened retaliation for a US strike on Syria, America’s warships have positioned themselves close enough to carry out their possible orders. The USS Nimitz and support ships are in the Red Sea, while the USS San Antonio and several destroyers carrying cruise missiles are positioned in the Eastern Mediterranean.
US officials say that a delay in military action could give Syria’s allies time to coordinate retaliation, likely in the form of attacking US interests in the Middle East. An Iraqi militant group has already threatened retaliation in their country. There was no comment from Iran on the alleged orders to militants.
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