‘War on Iran to spell Israel’s collapse’

Former Iranian defense minister says an Israeli attack on Iran would result in Palestinian victory over Israel in the occupied lands.

Following recent reports on a possible Israeli strike on Iran, Admiral Ali Shamkhani said Sunday that Iran has readied a contingency plan for any possible war scenarios against the Islamic Republic.

Referring to the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, Shamkhani said, “Iran would definitely deliver a more devastating blow to Israel than that of Hezbollah.”

In July 2006, Israel fought a 33-day war against Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, imposing an aerial and naval blockade on the country and razing villages in the south.

Nearly 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 157 Israelis, mostly soldiers, died during the 33-day war.

Israel, however, faced a heavy defeat in the month-long war, which according to the Guardian cost Tel Aviv $1.6 billion (£850m).

The former Iranian defense minister said Iran’s crushing response to Israel, in case of an attack, would help ensure the return of the occupied territories to Palestinians.

Adm. Shamkhani also expressed doubt about the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran without Washington’s support, saying Israel is incapable of a unilateral strike.

A Guardian article recently revealed that Israel ‘seriously considered’ striking Iran’s nuclear facilities in spring.

According to the article, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s plea for a green light to target Iran’s power plants was turned down by US President George W. Bush in a May 14 meeting.

‘Should the US give the green light to Israel,’ the Iranian admiral said, ‘they would pursue a stage-by-stage war scenario for which Iran has already prepared a complete contingency plan’.

Adm. Shamkhani warned that Iranian Armed Forces are also capable of seriously challenging the US image of military superiority.

The Iranian military official’s remarks come after Iran announced on Wednesday that the country’s Air Force started a large-scale aerial maneuver to test its state-of-the-art military equipment along with its flight and gunnery tactics.

Iran has been holding military exercises on a regular basis after Israel conducted an air maneuver over the Eastern Mediterranean and Greece in early June, which according to Pentagon officials, appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Over 100 Israeli F-16s and F-15s took part in the exercise, which spanned some 900 miles, roughly the distance between their airfields and a nuclear enrichment facility in the central Iranian city of Natanz.

Shamkhani described Israel as a vulnerable enemy and said it would be no match for Iran’s state-of-the-art military equipment and capabilities.