Lloyd Austin and Yoav Gallant
Lloyd Austin and Yoav GallantElad Malka

Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder on Thursday night provided a readout of the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s phone call with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Ryder said that Austin reiterated during the conversation with Gallant “ironclad US support for Israel's defense in the face of growing threats from Iran and its regional proxies.”

“Echoing President Biden's unequivocal message to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Secretary Austin assured Minister Gallant that Israel could count on full US support to defend Israel against Iranian attacks, which Tehran has publicly threatened,” the statement added.

Earlier on Thursday, the Defense Ministry said that Gallant had stressed to Austin that the State of Israel will not tolerate an Iranian attack on its territory.

The Minister of Defense also told the US Defense Secretary that a direct Iranian attack on Israeli territory would require an appropriate Israeli response against Iran.

Iran has blamed Israel for a strike in Damascus in which a top Iranian general was eliminated and has vowed to retaliate. 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.

Earlier on Thursday, Iranian sources told Reuters that Iran has signalled to Washington that it will respond to the attack attributed to Israel on its Syrian embassy in a way that aims to avoid major escalation and it will not act hastily.

Iran's message to Washington was conveyed by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian during a visit on Sunday to the Gulf Arab state of Oman, which has often acted as an intermediary between Tehran and Washington, the sources said.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Gallant and reiterated US support for Israel’s security.

In a statement following the call, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that Blinken made clear to Gallant “that the US will stand with Israel against any threats by Iran and its proxies.”