Jerusalem Post – February 8, 2012
The United States and Israel are in no position to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities because of their high susceptibility to retaliatory attacks from the Islamic Republic, a senior Iranian military commander said Tuesday.
Iranian news agency Press TV quoted senior Revolutionary Guard official Brig.-Gen. Masoud Jazayeri as saying that both the US and Israel were aware of Tehran’s ability to hurt them with its counterattack and therefore their threats lack credibility.
The Tehran Times quoted Jazayeri as saying that Iran will continue to pursue its objectives without considering, what he referred to as, Washington’s policy of “carrot and stick.”
The senior Revolutionary Guard official made the comments in response to remarks made by US President Barack Obama on Sunday in which he stated that diplomacy and not military action was the “preferred solution” to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.
The White House announced tough new sanctions on Iran Monday, clamping down on the activity of the country’s Central Bank and those who do business with it.
They are the latest round of sanctions imposed after President Barack Obama signed legislation at the end of the year that ramped up US options for using sanctions to pressure the Iranians to stop their nuclear program.
In an interview with NBC on Sunday Obama emphasized the goal is to resolve this issue diplomatically, while reiterating that he will not take any options off the table.
Asked whether Israel had promised to give advance warning of an attack, Obama declined to reveal the content of diplomatic conversations but said, “We are going to make sure we work in lockstep as we proceed to try to solve this, hopefully diplomatically.”
Questioned on whether he supported such a strike, Obama responded, “I don’t think that Israel has made a decision on what they need to do. I think they, like us, believe that Iran has to stand down on their nuclear weapons program.”
Hilary Leila Krieger contributed to this report.