Teheran will target Israel's Dimona reactor in a retaliatory attack if the Islamic regime is hit by an Israeli or US air strike, a Iranian official told the Arabic-language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat on Monday.

"Teheran is aware that Israel and the United States want to target Iran, but we are also aware that while they actually have the option to launch war, they do not have the option to end it. This is America's and Israel's point of weakness. We know that there is no solution to this point of weakness, thanks to the importance of the Gulf region, America's problems in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the (geographically) small area of the Zionist entity," the anonymous official was quoted by the paper as saying. He also specified that the Dimona reactor would be on the top of Iran's target list in a potential war.

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The official added that the Iranian regime did not see any strong reason to reach an accommodation with Israel because of the declining of view of Israel's strategic value among Western countries, including the US. "We believe that the United States is looking for a strong partner in the region as an alternative to its dependence on Israel in the future. We in Iran believe that the United States and the Western nations now view Israel more as a burden and that Israel is incapable of contributing to achieving peace in the Middle East," he said to Asharq al-Awsat.

The official went on to say that the Islamic regime would seek to expand it's presence in Syria and Lebanon as Israel's influence in the region declines and Iran acquires nuclear capability.

The Iranian officials comments on Monday were just the latest round in the exchange of threats and counter-threats between Teheran officials and Israel and the US.

Last week, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the Iranian people by radio that a regional war initiated by Teheran was a distinct possibility, adding that "Israel is committed to defending its citizens and if attacked will act accordingly."  The comments, released by the Foreign Ministry in Hebrew last Tuesday, came during a Farsi-language broadcast on Israel Radio in which Ayalon addressed the people of Iran, taking calls and answering questions . The Farsi broadcast originally aired last Monday.

"A fear exists that Iran – as it becomes more pressured by sanctions – will goad those under its patronage in Hizbullah and Hamas to initiate military action against Israel. There’s also a possibility that Iran will make a military move against the Arab Gulf states and harm the flow of oil to the world, in which case the entire situation will degrade into widespread confrontations. Remember that the sanctions are aimed against Iran’s efforts to arm itself with nuclear weapons, and if they don’t elicit results, the United States and other nations might consider other options."
 

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