The NYPD has increased patrols around Jewish institutions in New York City in recent weeks amid ongoing tensions with Iran, a police spokesman said Friday.
The increased patrols are just a precaution and there is no specific threat, the NYPD spokesman said. Still the department has deployed extra officers to a variety of locations, including the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations.
Iran's supreme leader pledged Friday to aid any nation or group that challenges Israel and said any military strikes over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program would damage U.S. interests in the Middle East "10 times over."
The nationally broadcast comments by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei staked out a hard line in apparent replies to suggestions that military strikes are an increasing possibility if sanctions fail to rein in the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
Although Israel has raised the strongest hints over a military campaign, Khamenei reserved some of his strongest comments for Israel's key U.S. ally.
"A war itself will damage the U.S. 10 times over" in the region, said Khamenei.
At Ramstein Air Base in Germany, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said sanctions remain the best approach to pressure Iran. But he told U.S. airmen Friday that Washington keeps "all options on the table and would be prepared to respond if we have to."
Another potential military flashpoint is the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Iran has threatened to close the strategic waterway in response to U.S. and EU sanctions targeting the country's oil exports, but it has so far taken no steps to disrupt oil tanker traffic. The powerful Revolutionary Guard said it plans naval maneuvers near the strait this month.