Brett McGurk
Brett McGurkREUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

The US Middle East envoy, Brett McGurk, called the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Iraq to ask them to deliver a message to Iran urging it to lower tensions with Israel following a suspected Israeli air strike on Iran's embassy in Syria, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing a source with knowledge of the situation.

The source said that McGurk asked the officials to contact the Iranian foreign minister to convey a message that Iran should de-escalate with Israel, which they did.

Iran's foreign ministry said on Wednesday the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Iraq spoke on the phone with Iran's foreign minister and discussed regional tensions.

The report comes amid speculations that Iran is planning to attack Israel in response to the attack in Syria last week that killed a top Iranian general.

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday that Israel made a mistake by attacking the Iranian consulate in Damascus and killing the general.

"Israel must be punished and they will pay for their mistakes," he said.

CBS News reported last week that the US has picked up intelligence on what an Iranian retaliatory strike might look like.

According to the report, the American intelligence indicates that Iran is planning a retaliatory attack that would include a swarm of Shaheed loitering drones and cruise missiles.

Another report in The New York Times cited two Iranian officials who said that Iran had placed all its armed forces on full high alert and a decision had been made that Iran must respond directly to the strike attributed to Israel in Damascus, in order to create deterrence.

Officials on Wednesday told Bloomberg that the US government believes a "major" missile or drone attack on Israel by Iran or its proxies is "imminent".

According to the report, the assessment is based on intelligence on Iran's intentions.