Iran vows 'crushing response' if attacked by Israel or U.S.
Iran vowed Sunday that it would deliver a "crushing response" to Israel and the United States should either attempt to attack the Islamic Republic over its contentious nuclear program.
The remarks made by a top commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) came just hours after the U.S. army chief told media that a plan was in the works should an attack become necessary.
"Security in the Persian Gulf region for all, or for none," Iran's IRNA news agency quoted Deputy IRGC Commander for Political Affairs Brigadier General Yadollah Javani as saying.
"The Persian Gulf is a strategic region." he added. "If security in this region is jeopardized, they will suffer, too, and our response will be firm.
Turning his attention to Israel, Javani said that Iran did not believe its enemy capable of attacking. Nonetheless, he said, Iran would be prepared in case that equation should change. "Iran never ignores its enemies. Hence, we have been increasing our defense and deterrence capabilities."
"Iran will give a crushing response to its enemies," he added.
U.S. has plan in case attack on Iran needed, says army chief
Earlier Sunday, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen said Sunday that the U.S. military has a plan to attack Iran if necessary, but clarified that he considered such a strike to be a bad idea.
Mullen, the highest-ranking U.S. military officer, has often warned that a military strike on Iran over its contentious nuclear program would have serious and unpredictable ripple effects around the Middle East. At the same time, he has called the risk of Iran developing a nuclear weapon unacceptable.
Mullen would not say which risk he thinks is worse, but told NBC television's Meet The Press that a military strike remains an option if need be. Should come to that, Mullen added, the military has a plan at hand. He did not elaborate.
Both the U.S. and Israel have declared that the option of attacking the Islamic Republic must remain on the table.
Also Sunday, Iran's envoy to the United Nations warned that the Islamic Republic would set Tel Aviv ablaze if Israel dares attack it.
"If the Zionist regime commits the slightest aggression against Iranian soil, we will set the entire war front and Tel Aviv on fire," Mohammad Khazai said, Kashmar, the Farhang-e Ashti daily reported.
Last month, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said world leaders "believe absolutely" that Israel may decide to take military action against Iran to prevent the latter from acquiring nuclear weapons.
“Iran is not guaranteeing a peaceful production of nuclear power [so] the members of the G-8 are worried and believe absolutely that Israel will probably react preemptively,” Berlusconi told reporters following talks with other Group of Eight leaders.
Iranian military officials said last week that the United States and Israel would not dare attempt a military strike of Iran's nuclear sites, adding that they were confident that Tehran would easily repel such an attempt.The United States, the United Nations and the European Union have each imposed new restrictions on Iran over its nuclear enrichment activities.