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Middle East Conflict

Iranian military says it is ready to deal with any Israeli attack

Iranian military says it is ready to deal with any Israeli attack
Iranian medium range missiles 'Nazeat' are displayed during the annual Army Day celebration at a military base in Tehran, Iran, 17 April 2024. According to Iranian state media, Raisi described the recent attack launched towards Israel as 'limited' and 'punitive', adding that any act of aggression against Iran will be dealt with a 'powerful and fierce' response. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) launched drones and rockets towards Israel late on 13 April. EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

DUBAI, April 17 (Reuters) - Iran said on Wednesday its military was ready to confront any attack by Israel, with the air force saying it was prepared for action.

Iran’s navy commander said also that it was escorting Iranian commercial vessels to the Red Sea.

Iran carried out its first-ever direct attack on Israel last weekend in retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Damascus on April 1.

Israel has said it will hit back and its war cabinet was meeting on Wednesday to discuss options.

“Any attack by the Zionist regime (Israel) on our soil will be dealt with a severe response,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Wednesday at a parade held for Army Day, state media reported.

The commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force warned at the same event that its warplanes, including Russian-made Sukhoi-24s, were in their “best state of preparedness” to counter any Israeli attack.

“We have full readiness in all fields, including our air coverage and bombers, and are prepared for any operation,” Brigadier General Amir Vahedi said.

A direct attack on Revolutionary Guards bases or nuclear research facilities within Iran is one of the options Israel has to strike back. Targets outside of Iran are also a possibility.

Admiral Shahram Irani said the Iran Navy was escorting Iranian commercial ships to the Red Sea, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

“The Navy is carrying out a mission to escort Iranian commercial ships to the Red Sea and our Jamaran frigate is present in the Gulf of Aden in this view,” Irani said.

Tehran was ready to escort vessels of other countries, he added.

The Red Sea has seen significant disruption to Israel-bound shipping due to attacks from Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis.

On April 13, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized the MSC Aries, a Portuguese-flagged container ship in the Strait of Hormuz which Tehran says is linked to Israel.

(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Angus MacSwan)

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