The top commander in Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Sunday that “nothing will remain” of Israel if it takes military action against Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.
General Mohammad Ali Jafari said Iran’s response to any attack will begin near the Israeli border. The Islamic Republic has close ties with terrorists in Gaza and Lebanon, both of which border Israel.
Iran has in the past made reference to the destruction of Israel but his comments at a Tehran news conference were unusually strongly worded and detailed.
He also said that Iran warned that oil shipments through the strategic Strait of Hormuz will be in jeopardy if a war breaks out between Iran and the United States. Iranian officials have previously threatened to close the waterway, the route for a fifth of the world’s oil, but less frequently in recent months.
General Jafari also told a news conference in Tehran Sunday that if it is attacked, Iran will no longer be committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, under whose terms UN inspectors visit Iranian nuclear sites. He said however that this does not mean that Iran would build a nuclear weapon.
The US and Israel have both left open the possibility of a strike on Iran if diplomacy fails to stop what it says is a push for a nuclear weapon. Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
Gen. Jafari however said that Iran believes the United States won’t attack Iran because it is very vulnerable and its military bases in the Middle East are within the range of Iran’s missiles. Jafari also said Israel is very unlikely to take unilateral action.
The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards also noted that members of his elite special operations unit, the Quds Force, are present in Syria and Lebanon but only to provide “counsel.”
“A number of Quds Force members are present in Syria and Lebanon… we provide (these countries) with counsel and advice, and transfer experience to them,” Guards commander Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Jafari told a rare press conference.
“But it does not mean that we have a military presence there,” he said.
This is the first time the Guards publicly acknowledge the presence of Quds members in Syria.
Source: Ynet News