Iran threatens ‘massive response’ if Israel launches ‘tiniest invasion’

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during Army Day parade at a military base in northern Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 17, 2024.  (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during Army Day parade at a military base in northern Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iran’s president warns that the “tiniest invasion” by Israel would bring a “massive and harsh” response, as the region braces for potential Israeli retaliation after Iran’s attack over the weekend.

President Ebrahim Raisi speaks at an annual army parade that was relocated to a barracks north of the capital, Tehran, from its usual venue on a highway in the city’s southern outskirts. Iranian authorities give no explanation for its relocation, and state TV does not broadcast it live, as it has in previous years.

Iran launched hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel over the weekend in response to an apparent Israeli strike on Iran’s embassy compound in Syria on April 1 that killed 12 people, including two Iranian generals.

Israel, with help from the United States, the United Kingdom, neighboring Jordan and other nations, successfully intercepted nearly all the missiles and drones.

Israel has vowed to respond, without saying when or how, while its allies have urged all sides to avoid further escalation.

Raisi says Saturday’s attack was a limited one, and that if Iran had wanted to carry out a bigger attack, “nothing would remain from the Zionist regime.” His remarks were carried by the official IRNA news agency.

Israel and Iran have waged a shadow war for decades, but the strike over the weekend was the first direct Iranian military attack on Israel.

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