September 23, 2012
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general heading up the aerospace division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. (IRGC), has told Iran’s Arabic language Al-Alam television that his country will strike preemptively if it detects preparations by Israel for an attack.
Iran held a news conference last week stating it has the ability to defend itself against attack.
“Iran will not start any war but it could launch a preemptive attack if it was sure that the enemies are putting the final touches to attack it,” the military commander said.
Hajizadeh said an attack by Israel would be supported by the United States. “For this reason, we will enter a confrontation with both parties and will definitely be at war with American bases should a war break out,” he said, mentioning U.S. bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan as targets.
The U.S. Fifth Fleet is stationed in Bahrain. According to U.S. government figures, there are 68,000 American troops in Afghanistan.
“We see the United States and the Zionist regime (of Israel) alongside one another and we can by no means imagine that the Zionist regime would initiate a war (against Iran) without the U.S. support,” Hajizadeh said. “There will be no neutral country in the region. To us, these bases are equal to U.S. soil.” He said Iran would definitely attack the bases if war breaks out.
“This war is likely to degenerate into the World War III,” Hajizadeh warned.
Iran’s Commander of the IRGC, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said on Saturday that a war on Iran “will eventually happen,” Press TV reported. “War will happen but it is not clear where and when.”
“Iran will obliterate the Zionist regime if the latter takes any action against Iran,” another IRGC commander, Hossein Salami, told the official IRNA news agency on Sunday.
Officials have warned repeatedly that Iran will close the strategic Strait of Hormuz if it is attacked. Iran’s vice president, Mohammad Reza Rahimi, said in January that “not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz” if Iran is attacked.