Antony Blinken
Antony BlinkenREUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has asked China’s foreign minister and other counterparts to use their influence to dissuade Iran from striking Israel, the State Department said on Thursday, according to the AFP news agency.

Blinken spoke by telephone over the past day to his Chinese, Turkish, Saudi and European counterparts “to make clear that escalation is not in anyone’s interest and that countries should urge Iran not to escalate”, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

Iran has threatened to retaliate for an attack attributed to Israel on its Syrian embassy in Damascus, in which a top Iranian Revolutionary Guards general was eliminated.

On Thursday, Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant spoke with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

The Minister and Secretary discussed readiness for an Iranian attack against the State of Israel, which could lead to regional escalation. Minister Gallant detailed preparations, and emphasized that the State of Israel will not tolerate an Iranian attack on its territory.

The Minister of Defense reflected his commitment to the security of Israel’s citizens, as such, a direct Iranian attack on Israeli territory would require an appropriate Israeli response against Iran.

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

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

Meanwhile, Iranian sources told Reuters on Thursday 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.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment on any messages from Iran but said the United States has communicated to Iran that it was not involved in the strike on the embassy.