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Iran commander: Israeli strike could trigger WWIII

September 23, 2012 18:15

Revolutionary Guards commander says war would be "historic opportunity" to destroy Israel and "reclaim Palestine."

Iran's Sajil 2 missile

Iran's Sajil 2 missile 370. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Senior Iranian military commanders repeated threats made over the past few weeks that Tehran will destroy Israel if it launches an attack on Iran either with or without the US.

Brig.-Gen. Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’s aerospace division, told state-owned Al-Alam TV that an Israeli strike on Iran could “trigger World War III.”

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“It is impossible to imagine an independent war between Iran and the US or the Zionist regime [Israel],” he said, adding that other countries in the region would likely side with Iran or Israel in case of war.

Iran would target US bases in the region should Israel attack, Hajizadeh added.

Referring to a deadly attack by Taliban gunmen against a US Marine base in southern Afghanistan earlier this month, in which five aircraft were destroyed, Hajizadeh warned that an attack by Israel on Iran could extend war to the region.

“One should not imagine that the countries in the region would declare neutrality if a war breaks out,” he said according to a report by Iran’s Press TV.

Also on Sunday, Deputy Commander of the Revolutionary Guard Brig.-Gen. Hossein Salami said Iran is no longer concerned about threats from Israel.

“We have crossed the line of worrying about threats from the Zionist Regime [Israel],” Salami said according to Sepah News, the Revolutionary Guard’s official news site. He added that in its wars over the last decade Israel has encountered harsh retaliation from the Islamic Republic’s “regional branches” and is no longer considered a threat to Iran.

“If the Zionists really do strike Iran, it would provide a historic opportunity for the Islamic Revolution to wipe [Israel] off the face of the earth,” he said adding that Iran would then “reclaim the lands occupied by Israel for the Palestinians.” Salami added that an infantry battalion would be able to “break Israel’s back” within a day.

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“The Regime [Israel] is only 24 kilometers wide in parts,” he explained.

Salami said that Iran was known as a great power and was capable of fighting on many fronts.

“We do not intend to start a war, but if someone starts a war against us, we will respond offensively and strike everywhere and will not stop,” he added, noting that the Revolutionary Guard’s strategies and tactics are offensive, not defensive, in nature.

“Our enemy will begin the war, but we will be the ones to end it,” he added.

Salami said that Iran had gained knowledge in weapons manufacturing, including modern missile technology.

The Islamic Republic has missiles capable of destroying enemy bases in the region, he added.

Referring to Iran’s recent announcements of new military developments, Salami noted that Iran had unveiled its Ra’ad (“Thunder”) air defense system during its annual military parade on Friday.

The Ra’ad system is equipped with domestically made Taer (“Bird”) missiles, which have a range of 50 kilometers and can hit targets at 22,000 meters, according to the Iranian state media.

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