Iran: Israel too vulnerable for conflict
Press TV – August 27, 2008
The top IRGC commander says Iran does not anticipate an Israeli strike as Israel is fully aware of its vulnerability to Iranian missiles.
Tel Aviv and Washington accuse Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of having plans to develop a military nuclear program, under the pretext of which they have threatened to launch air strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities.
This is while the responsible UN body for monitoring Iranian nuclear activities has confirmed that Tehran enriches uranium-235 to a level of 3.7 percent - a rate consistent with the construction of a nuclear power plant. Nuclear arms production requires an enrichment level of above 90 percent.
According to Pentagon officials, Israel conducted a military maneuver over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece in early June in preparation for a war with Iran.
Over 100 Israeli F-16s and F-15s partook 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.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) responded in early July by holding an extensive military drill, during which Iran test-fired its upgraded Shahab-3 missile equipped with a one-ton conventional warhead and capable of hitting targets within a 2,000-kilometer range.
IRGC commander Major General Mohammad-Ali Jafari spoke out on Wednesday about the consequences of an Israeli attack, saying that Iran's missile capabilities are such that Israel, with all its capabilities, would not be able to counter them.
He added that that Israelis know that regional Muslim allies would participate in delivering 'deadly strikes' against them should Tel Aviv dare to launch any act of aggression against Iran.
"Strategic calculations show that if Israel wants to take the smallest measure against Iranian interests - either independently or with the US - all Israeli territories would become unsafe in an instant," continued Maj. Gen. Jafari.
In mid-August, Iran's Air Force chief, Brigadier General Ahmad Miqani, announced that the country has revamped its fighter jet fleet to fly distances of 3,000 kilometers without refueling.
The upgrade allows Iranian aircraft to fly to Israel and back without refueling.
As a result of the current situation, Maj. Gen. Jafari said, an attack against Iran can only be launched by the United States.
His remarks come as the US Navy is carrying out five-day war games in the Persian Gulf with the participation of British and Bahraini vessels.
The Iranian general also warned Wednesday that Tehran has prepared plans to retaliate against any attack by the US in a 'swift, tough and imaginable' way, claiming that US forces are too vulnerable to reprisal attacks due to being spread in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf.
Earlier on Sunday, Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General Mohammad Zolqadr said if Washington attempts to engage in a war with Tehran, the US would not stumble upon 'orthodox and classic tactics'.
Iran says should it come under attack, it would not hesitate in taking the necessary measures to protect its sovereignty - including the closure of the Strait of Hormuz.
The strategically vital waterway, between Iran and Oman, connects the oil-rich region to free sea. As much as 40 percent of the world's sea-transited crude oil passes through the strait.
In further preparations, the IRGC has recently equipped its navy fleet with high-tech weapons systems capable of targeting any vessel within a range of 300 km (185 miles) from its shores.
Last updated 29/08/2008