Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah 390 (R).
(photo credit:REUTERS/ Ahmad Shalha)
Iran could strike US bases in the Middle East in response to any Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities, the leader of Lebanon's Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah said on Monday.
"A decision has been taken to respond and the response will be very great," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview with the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen television.
"The response will not be just inside the Israeli entity - American bases in the whole region could be Iranian targets," he said, citing information he said was from Iranian officials. "If Israel targets Iran, America bears responsibility."
But Nasrallah said there were divisions in Israel over attacking Iran's nuclear facilities, which the West says could be part of a nuclear weapons program - a charge which Tehran denies.
"Personally I do not expect the Israeli enemy - at least in the coming months or foreseeable future - (to wage) an attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran," he said.Yediot Ahronoth reported Monday
that the US recently used two European countries to send messages to Iran saying the US would not be dragged into an Israeli attack, and in return expected Iran to refrain from striking US strategic targets in the region.
The White House sharply denied that report.
"It's incorrect, completely incorrect," White House spokesman Jay Carney said while accompanying Obama on a campaign trip in Ohio. "The report is false and we don't talk about hypotheticals."
Intelligence Agencies Minister Dan Meridor said he did not "know what kind of messages Yediot Ahronoth
heard, but I think the Iranians understand ... that if they cross a line towards a bomb, they could encounter very strong resistance, including all the options that are on the table - as the American president has said."
Meridor, in an Israel Radio interview, said he did not sense a rupture in Israel's ties with the United States and stressed that it was very important to maintain Washington's support
Meridor added that the international effort against Iran was taking its toll on the Iranians, who may now fear enriching uranium to a higher, bomb-grade level because of the knowledge they could encounter very strong resistance if they crossed the line towards acquiring a nuclear bomb.Herb Keinon and Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.
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