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Iran attack: Israeli response to attack may be 'imminent,' source says

Israel is deciding its next steps after Iran's retaliatory attack as fears of a wider war in the Middle East grow.

What to know

U.S. officials expect Israeli response to Iran strikes will be limited

Courtney Kube, Mosheh Gains and Monica Alba

U.S. officials expect a possible Israeli response to Iran’s attack over the weekend to be limited in scope and most likely involve strikes against Iranian military forces and Iranian-backed proxies outside Iran, four U.S. officials said.     

The U.S. assessment is based on conversations between American and Israeli officials that happened before Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel on Saturday night.

As Israel was preparing for a possible Iranian attack last week, Israeli officials briefed U.S. officials about possible response options, the U.S. officials said. 

The U.S. officials stressed that they have not been briefed on Israel’s final decision about how it will respond and that the options could have changed since the weekend attack. They also said it is not clear when an Israeli response will happen, but they said it could happen at any time.

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Johnson outlines House plan to vote on foreign aid bills

House Speaker Mike Johnson spoke to reporters after a GOP conference meeting that he said was “fruitful and productive” and outlined his plan to put four national security bills on the House floor: Israel aid, Ukraine aid, Indo-Pacific aid and a fourth measure that includes GOP national security priorities that would include more sanctions on Iran.

“Every member ultimately will be able to vote their own conscience on all of these matters and everyone have an opportunity to weigh in and bring the amendments that they think are suitable,” said Johnson, R-La.

He said that he would prefer to send each bill to the Senate individually but that no final decision has been made. 

If bill text comes out tomorrow, as is the hope, Johnson said, the House might not vote on the packages until Friday. The House is scheduled to leave Thursday afternoon and be in recess next week, but that could change.

Iranians anxious as Israel weighs strike response


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The prospect of Israeli retaliation against Iran for its drone and missile attack over the weekend has alarmed many Iranians already facing economic pain and tighter social and political controls after protests in 2022-23.

Iran’s political and military leaders have repeatedly warned that they will respond to any Israeli retaliation by escalating further, potentially triggering yet more attacks.

And that would only be bad news for ordinary people, said Hesam, 45, a teacher from the northern city of Amol.

“Economic pressure will mount. Our safety will be jeopardized. ... We must avoid conflict at all cost. I don’t want a war. How can I protect my two children? Nowhere will be safe.”

Middle- and lower-income Iranians are shouldering much of the burden of the economic woes, with inflation over 50%; rising utility, food and housing prices; and the rial currency falling sharply.

Parvaneh, 37, a mother of two in the central city of Yazd, fears an Israeli strike could be the final hammer blow to the economy, weakened by years of sanctions, mismanagement and corruption.

“We Iranians have endured more than enough for years. War brings only disaster. My husband is a factory worker. We do not have even enough money to buy staples, let alone stockpile them,” she said.

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Bilal Saab, an associate fellow at Chatham House, a think tank based in London, says the Iranian strikes on Israel signify that Iran has the ability to potentially mount a more significant attack.

Rep. Scalise offers support to Netanyahu in call

Yael Factor

Yael Factor and Rebecca Kaplan

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., conveyed support for Israel following Iran's retaliatory strikes over the weekend in a call with Netanyahu today, according to both of their offices.

Netanyahu's office said in a statement that Scalise expressed support "for any decision that Israel makes in light of the Iranian attack."

"Majority Leader Scalise informed the Prime Minister of his initiative to advance in Congress, in the coming days, a series of measures against Iran and for Israel; Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked him," the statement said.

Scalise told Fox News that they spoke about the House agenda this week and that he spoke to Netanyahu about his support for Israel's right to self-defense.

"He truly appreciated the action we’re taking to support Israel and to hold Iran and their terrorist proxies accountable," he said.

Jordan allowed fighter jets to intercept Iranian drones, Israeli air force official says

Raf Sanchez

TEL AVIV — Jordan allowed Israeli fighter jets into its airspace to intercept Iranian missiles and drones, an Israeli air force official said today.

“In order to address something that comes from the east, we need to fly somewhere that is east of Israel,” the official said in a briefing for reporters. “This was done with coordination.”

While Iran’s direct attack against Israel was unprecedented, so was the scale of coordination between Israel and Jordan, its Arab neighbor, in the response. Jordanian and Israeli fighters — coordinated by the U.S. military — acted together to intercept the barrage of drones and missiles. 

In a statement yesterday, Jordan’s government said the interceptions were made to ensure the safety of its citizens, rather than in defense of Israel. 

But it is thought to be the first time the two countries’ militaries have fought side by side.

Jordan and Israel made peace in 1994, though the relationship has often been strained by disagreements over Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

U.S. looking to further isolate Iran, Kirby says

The Biden administration is working to "further isolate" Iran's regime by increasing economic pressure, White House national security communications adviser John Kirby told reporters today.

"That's the upshot here: a stronger Israel, a weaker Iran, a more unified alliance of partners," Kirby said.

Asked whether the U.S. would support a counterattack from Israel, Kirby told NBC News' Gabe Gutierrez it was a hypothetical question he would not entertain.

"We don’t want to see a wider conflict," Kirby said. "As the president said to the prime minister on Saturday night, we will continue to do what we have to do to help Israel defend itself. But you’re asking me to get ahead of — as far as I know — a decision that the war Cabinet hasn’t even made."

Blinken discusses regional concerns with visiting Iraqi delegation

Khalid Razak

Khalid Razak and Doha Madani

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani as part of Al-Sudani's official visit to Washington this week, Al-Sudani's office said in a statement.

The two officials spoke about strengthening relations between the U.S. and Iraq, as well as potential American investment opportunities, "especially in the fields of energy," the statement said.

Regional issues were also a topic, with Al-Sudani reiterating "Iraq’s clear position on the aggression, stressing the joint legal and moral responsibility for protecting unarmed civilians." The statement went on to say Al-Sudani stressed the importance of keeping the conflict from expanding.

A statement from Blinken's office was not yet available. Speaking to reporters alongside Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Tamim, he said he was excited to welcome the Iraqi officials to the capital and hoped to "expand that 360-degree partnership" between their countries.

Both officials warned against escalating tensions in Iran.

The covert war between Israel and Iran has exploded into view. What comes next?

The bitter conflict between Israel and Iran has long been confined to the realm of secret assassinations, audacious cyberattacks, nuclear sabotage and war-by-proxy. But that largely covert struggle burst into full view over the weekend with Tehran’s retaliatory drone and missile strikes.

Iran’s unprecedented direct attack on Israel, which followed its deadly strike on Iran’s consular building in Syria, left the U.S. and its allies scrambling to avoid a wider conflict as the world waits to see what comes next.

Objects are seen in the sky above Jerusalem after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, in Jerusalem
Objects in the sky above Jerusalem yesterday after Iran launched drones and missiles toward Israel.Ronen Zvulun / Reuters

Netanyahu’s war Cabinet convened today to weigh its options. Western leaders have urged restraint, with Biden warning Netanyahu against carrying out new strikes on Iran and making it clear that Washington would not join in any such counterattack. (Speaking after the war Cabinet convened, an Israeli official told NBC News that a response may be “imminent.”) 

While Israel took down almost all the drones and missiles used in the attack, the U.S. and other allied countries, the stakes after the attack could not be higher. In the eyes of some foreign policy hawks, the attacks could be perceived as a grave provocation that demands a furious rejoinder. But other analysts have warned that if Netanyahu decides to hit back hard, it could plunge the wider Middle East into war amid Israel’s devastating monthslong military campaign in the Gaza Strip. 

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Iran's response will be 'more extensive' if Israel counters, foreign minister told Cameron

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian warned that if Israel launches an attack, the regime's next response will be "immediate, stronger and more extensive."

In a call with U.K. Foreign Minister David Cameron yesterday, Amirabdollahian reiterated Tehran's position that the assault on Israel was within the country's legal right to respond to the strike on its diplomatic building and blamed the region's tensions on "the destructive role of the occupying Israeli regime," according to a state news report.

Cameron confirmed his call with Amirabdollahian on X, saying he formally condemned Iran's retaliatory strike on Israel. He also discussed the Revolutionary Guard's seizure of a Portuguese-flagged ship in the Strait of Hormuz.

"I made clear that Iran must stop these reckless attacks, de-escalate and release the MSC Aries," Cameron wrote.

Biden addresses Iran attack during meeting with visiting Iraqi prime minister

NBC News

Biden took a moment to address Iran’s “unprecedented aerial attack” against Israel.

He said the U.S. and its allies were able to “defeat” the attack during a meeting with the prime minister of Iraq. 

Bedouin girl severely injured during Iranian missile attack is still in intensive care, her father says


Paul Goldman

Raf Sanchez

Anna Schecter, Paul Goldman, Raf Sanchez and Rich Schapiro

The father of 7-year-old Amina al-Hasoni describes the chaos of the middle-of-the-night attack from Iran that left his daughter with a severe head injury from shrapnel.

Her injuries are the most severe casualty of the Iranian onslaught, according to Israeli authorities, as Israel's defense system was able to thwart most of the missiles and drones headed toward Israeli territory.

"We heard the rocket exploding over our heads. We didn’t know where to go, there was a lot of shouting and a lot of chaos," Amina's father, Mohammed al-Hasoni, told NBC News by phone Monday.

He said Amina is still in intensive care in a hospital in Be'er Sheva in southern Israel.

The Hasoni family lives in a Bedouin community in southern Israel. Bedouin communities number around 300,000, with very few of the resources enjoyed by other Israeli towns and cities, including bomb shelters that might have saved Amina's life, as was first reported by The New York Times.

"Amina has nothing to do with all that is happening [in the world], with this reality," her father said. "I just want peace."

Oil prices fall after Iran’s strike on Israel is thwarted

The Associated Press

Oil prices fell on Monday after Iran’s missile and drone strike failed to cause widespread damage in Israel and the U.S. made it clear it did not support a wider war with Iran.

Analysts say the chief risk to oil prices from the Israel-Hamas war would be if the conflict escalates and disrupts oil supplies from Iran and Persian Gulf producers through the Strait of Hormuz choke point.

Tougher sanctions enforcement against Iranian oil shipments by the U.S. could raise oil prices but would risk higher inflation and pump prices for U.S. motorists in an election year.

The stance taken by Iran, which said the matter “can be deemed concluded” with the retaliatory strikes, and the U.S. position reassured oil traders, who sent the price of international benchmark Brent crude 0.7% lower to $89.82 a barrel in Monday morning trading. That is below the levels just above $90 a barrel seen on Friday before the weekend attacks.

Risks that could send prices higher include any Israeli strike against Iranian oil facilities or tougher enforcement of sanctions against Iran by the U.S.

Israel’s response to the Iranian attack may be 'imminent,' official says

Raf Sanchez

TEL AVIV — Israel’s response to the Iranian attack may be "imminent," an Israeli official said Monday.

Speaking after Israel’s war Cabinet met for several hours, the official said Israeli decision-makers believe it's important for any response to closely follow the attack. Several diplomatic and military options were examined during the Cabinet meeting, the official said.

“Any response will be coordinated with the Americans,” the official added.

Biden to host Iraqi leader, raising questions over U.S. presence in Iraq

The Associated Press

President Joe Biden is set to host Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani this week for talks that come as tensions across the Middle East have soared.

The war in Gaza and Iran’s weekend attack on Israel in retaliation for a military strike in Syria have created a sharp rise in security fears and raised more questions about the two-decade American military presence in Iraq.

A U.S. Patriot battery in Irbil, Iraq, knocked down at least one Iranian ballistic missile, according to American officials.

Iran lifts suspensions on flights in Tehran as crisis simmers

Iran has lifted suspensions on domestic and international flights from its capital, Tehran, the state-run IRNA news agency reported, possibly signaling a return to stabilization for now.

It comes as Israel weighs its response to the strikes and world leaders call for restraint.

Global airlines faced ongoing disruptions to flights after Iran’s missile and drone attacks on Israel narrowed options for planes navigating between Europe and Asia.

At least a dozen airlines have had to cancel or reroute flights over the last two days.

France raises security around Jewish community before Passover

The French interior ministry is increasing security for the Jewish community in the week before Passover and in the aftermath of Iran's attack on Israel over the weekend.

"As Passover approaches and given the current international situation, I have told local officials to significantly step up security at places visited by our Jewish compatriots, especially with regards to synagogues and Jewish schools," said Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin in a post on X Monday.

The news came as French President Emmanuel Macron announced the country was developing alternative plans should security threats pose risks to the opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics in Paris. 

"We think there are security risks, we’ll have Plan Bs and even Plan Cs,” Macron told local news outlets.

Ukraine condemns Iran attack and says it needs help like Israel

Peter Jeary


Peter Jeary and Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has condemned Iran’s drone and missile attack on Israel and said his country needed help from its allies to fend off threats from the air, just as Israel did.

Zelenskyy again called on the U.S. Congress to approve a vital aid package that has been blocked for months by political wrangling. Ukraine’s forces are facing new onslaughts from Russian troops in the east and daily attacks on cities and infrastructure from Russian missiles and drones, many supplied by Tehran.

Iran says the U.S. should be 'grateful' for its restraint

Iran has said the U.S. should be "grateful" for what it framed as the restrained nature of its retaliatory attack against Israel.

Tehran is not seeking a further escalation in the region, foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said today.

He "advised the U.S. to take account of Iran’s responsible conduct and legitimate reaction to the Israeli act of aggression and to be grateful for Iran’s logical and legitimate operation instead of adopting an irresponsible stance," according to the semiofficial Tasnim news agency.

Aid into Gaza has increased ‘dramatically,’ Kirby says

Max Butterworth

Mithil Aggarwal and Max Butterworth

Israel has increased the amount of aid reaching Gaza “dramatically,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said today, calling for that flow to be sustained.

“In just the last few days, more than 2,000 trucks have been able to get in,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” with around 100 trucks entering the Gaza Strip in the last 24 hours.

Displaced Palestinians in Gaza
Displaced Palestinians take the coastal Rashid Road to return to Gaza City as they pass through the central Gaza Strip yesterday.AFP - Getty Images
Displaced Palestinians in Gaza
Ali Jadallah / Anadolu via Getty Images

“Our policy with respect to Gaza will have to change if we don’t see changes over time and have them sustained,” he added.

Israel showed its 'military superiority,' White House official says

Max Burman

It's up to Israeli officials to decide on any response to Iran's attack over the weekend, but the U.S. ally should keep in mind its "incredible military achievement" in shooting down 99% of the drones and missiles, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said this morning on "TODAY."

Biden urged Netanyahu over the weekend to "consider the impact of that and the message it sent not only about Israel's military superiority but that Iran utterly failed in what it was trying to do," Kirby said.

"What we showed the other night is that Iran is not militarily superior, that Iran is not 10-feet tall and that Israel is not alone. We will act with them in their self-defense," he added.

Israel weighs response after Iran’s missile and drone barrage

Richard EngelNBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent, Host of MSNBC's "On Assignment with Richard Engel"

JERUSALEM — What happened this weekend could've easily started a massive war, and it's still not off the table while Israeli officials stay vague about any potential response.

'Double defeat' for Iran, U.K. says as Europe urges Israel to avoid further escalation

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron called the Iranian strikes a "double defeat" today, saying the United Kingdom has urged Israel to be "smart as well as tough" in weighing its response.

French President Emmanuel Macron also urged Israel against escalating the conflict further.

“We will do all we can to avoid things flaring up, escalating,” he told BFM TV and RMC radio today, adding that Israel should isolate Iran instead. “The situation is very unstable today,” he said.

Both the U.K. and France joined the U.S. in helping shoot down the drones and missiles Iran fired at Israel over the weekend.

Israel launches overnight strikes as it vows to press ahead with its war in Gaza

At least 68 people were killed in Gaza in the last 24 hours, the Palestinian enclave's Health Ministry said today, as Israel continued its strikes in Gaza overnight after vowing to press on with its war against Hamas.

“Even while under attack from Iran we have not lost sight, not for moment, of our critical mission in Gaza," IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said last night in a video statement.

U.S. says it intercepted 80 drones and 6 missiles launched from Iran and Yemen during attack on Israel

The U.S. military destroyed more than 80 drones and at least six ballistic missiles from Iran and Yemen during the Saturday night attack on Israel, U.S. Central Command said last night.

"This includes a ballistic missile on its launcher vehicle," it said in a statement on X.

Seven drones were destroyed before their launch from Yemen, it said, adding that the U.S. was supported by European forces.

‘You’re incredible:’ Biden thanks U.S. fighter squadrons that helped defend Israel

Peter Jeary

Biden thanked the U.S. fighter squadrons that helped defend Israel from a drone and missile attack by Iran. In a video posted to social media yesterday, he said, “You make me proud.”

Israeli war Cabinet to reconvene on response to Iran attack

Yael Factor

TEL AVIV — The Israeli war Cabinet will meet today at 7 a.m. ET, an Israeli official told NBC News.

It comes after an Israeli official told NBC News following an hourslong meeting of the war Cabinet last night that the country would respond to the retaliatory strikes but that the scope and timing of that response had not yet been decided.

The official said that among the considerations were whether Israel needed to retaliate immediately or could afford to wait, and what impact any escalation against Iran would have on Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli schools to reopen, gathering restrictions relaxed

Schools are set to reopen in Israel today after they were shut as a security measure over the weekend due to Iran's retaliatory strikes, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement on X.

Restrictions on public gatherings have also been lifted after a "situational assessment," it added.

Israeli military commanders gather at Kirya base in Tel Aviv

Max Butterworth

Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi leads a situational assessment at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv yesterday.

Israel Military Base Tel Aviv
Israeli Army / AFP - Getty Images

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