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White House dismisses claims Iran warned US before Israel attack

Kirby said the reports about U.S. foreknowledge are "nonsense."

Published: April 15, 2024 3:05pm

White House national security spokesman John Kirby on Monday dismissed claims that Iran warned the United States before attacking Israel on Saturday after a Turkish diplomat claimed that Ankara acted as a go-between for Washington and Tehran ahead of the assault.

"This whole narrative out there that Iran passed us a message with what they were gonna do is ridiculous," Kirby told reporters, according to The Hill.

Questions about possible U.S. foreknowledge about the attack arose after a Turkish diplomat told Reuters that the U.S. was aware of the planned operation and had told Turkey to convey to the Islamic Republic that any military action needed to be "within certain limits."

"All I’m telling you is it’s nonsense," Kirby also said about the reports. 

"Can you imagine a world in which Iran would pick up the phone and say, ‘We’re about to try to shwack Israel with 300 cruise missiles and drones, we just wanted to let you know it’s coming and oh by the way, here’s what we’re going to hit,'" Kirby also said. "I’m sorry, it just didn’t happen. I can’t account for what sources might be telling you about what they heard. I’m telling you what we heard."

The United States helped Israel in shooting down more than 300 missiles and drones that Iran fired on Saturday, although President Joe Biden reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. will not assist in any counter-offensive operation to Iran's assault.

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