Tehran is factoring in potential American reprisals, officials have told the news outlet FILE PHOTO: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. © Majid Saeedi / Getty Images

The US expects Iran to moderate its retaliation for an Israeli airstrike on its consulate in Damascus out of fear that Washington will respond, sources have told Politico.

The US government believes the Iranian response to the April 1 incident will be “larger than usual,” but not substantial enough to provoke a reaction from Washington, the news outlet said on Thursday, citing two anonymous American officials.

“We’re still in that window,” one source said, adding that the Iranians are “looking to calibrate it, so they essentially don’t overplay their hand.”

The sources admitted, however, that they were unsure if Tehran’s potential actions could still trigger an American reaction.

The Israeli strike on Tehran’s diplomatic mission in Syria killed seven members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including two generals. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared this week that Israel “must and shall be punished.”

UN failure makes punishing Israel inevitable – Iran UN failure makes punishing Israel inevitable – Iran

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UN failure makes punishing Israel inevitable – Iran

Reports in the Western press have described Iran’s response as imminent for almost two weeks now, while some have suggested that Tehran was waiting for the holy month of Ramadan to end. Khamenei’s remarks came on Wednesday as Iranians celebrated Eid-al-Fitr, the day when the Islamic month of fasting ends. Politico said Terran is likely to make its move this weekend in the form of a drone and missile attack.

The US Embassy in Israel issued an alert to citizens on Thursday, calling the security environment “complex” and unpredictable. Americans were urged to avoid large gatherings and places with a heavy police presence.

Diplomatic staff and their families have been restricted from personal travel outside the greater Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Be’er Sheva areas, the notice said. A ban for US government employees on visiting the Old City of Jerusalem and the West Bank may come without notice, the embassy warned. (RT)