Khamenei aide: Iran would attack heart of Israel

Teheran threatens attack in "heart of Israel" before the dust settles on a strike on its nuclear program.

Mottaki 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Mottaki 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Iran would "destroy" Israel as well as 32 US army bases in the region if the Islamic Republic is attacked, an aide to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday. "If Israel and the US fire a bullet or a missile at Iran, its forces will attack the heart of Israel and 32 American bases in the region before the dust from such an attack has settled," Iran's Fars news agency quoted Mojtaba Zolnour as saying. He added that such targets would be "destroyed" by the Iranian counterattack. Zolnour is Khamenei's deputy representative in the Revolutionary Guards. Zolnour also said that "Iran's armed forces and the Revolutionary Guards are in full readiness in the face of its enemies, and if these enemies are contemplating attacking Iran, its armed forces will give a crushing response." Also on Saturday, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the United States and Israel were not in a position to attack Iran. According to the IRNA report, Mottaki said that the US and Israel "do not possess capacities to get themselves involved in a new crisis." But he warned Iran will deal a "harsh and crushing response" if they do attack. The report follows Iranian missile tests this week, which Mottaki called "a display of Iran's capabilities." Iran said the missiles' range put Israel and US forces in the Persian Gulf within striking distance. Earlier in the week, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the Iranian situation "is a challenge not only to Israel, but to the whole world." He added that at the moment the focus should be on international sanctions and other diplomatic options. Speaking at Labor party headquarters in Tel Aviv, Barak also asserted that Israel doesn't balk "when its vital security interests" are at stake. "Even so, we are not acting within an empty cavity. Israel is very strong but we are not immune," he said.