Iran IRGC head: Israel can be destroyed in one operation

Salami says Israel’s security bubble has been burst, brags about maritime, cyber and Dimona operations, ‘Zionist regime’ collapsing from within.

Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, speaks during Tehran's Friday prayers July 16, 2010. (photo credit: MORTEZA NIKOUBAZI/ REUTERS)
Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, speaks during Tehran's Friday prayers July 16, 2010.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, Maj.-Gen. Hossein Salami, has pronounced in a wide-ranging interview that Israel’s “security” has been eroded and its safety “bubble” burst in the last few months.
Salami bragged at length in an interview that was headlined in most major Iranian media on Thursday and receiving front-page coverage about how the “Zionist regime” is supposedly in the midst of security, political and social disintegration. He then claimed that Israel has suffered strikes against its maritime interests, cybersecurity vulnerabilities and other security setbacks, including mysterious explosions, and a rocket that flew over Dimona.
The interview was one of the most wide-ranging and specific interviews Salami has given in recent years, in which he sketched out an assessment of Israeli vulnerability and the weakening of other US allies and partners in the region.  
Salami pointed to a string of incidents over the last several months, appearing to take credit for them. He said that a mysterious explosion in Israel, allegedly at a rocket factory on April 20, was a huge explosion that he said “resembled a nuclear explosion.”
This is part of a domino effect that has included cyberattacks on Israel, “the killing of Mossad operatives in northern Iraq” and threats to a chemical factory in Haifa and Ben-Gurion Airport.
The long list of incidents Salami provided indicates that he wants Iran to be seen as somehow responsible. He pointed to the list, as well as cyberattacks on 80 companies. He also said that 90% of Israel’s trade is maritime and that Israel is vulnerable at sea. He noted that it is a relatively narrow country and has no strategic depth.
THE EXTRAORDINARY interview is not the first time Iran has bragged about attacks on Israel. Tehran likes to show that it is retaliating against the Jewish state, even if there is no evidence of the various examples even happening. Most of these Iranian “attacks” which have been reported in Iranian media have been revealed to be accidents or even total myths.
But that is not always the case. Several Israeli-owned ships have been attacked in the Gulf of Oman. This includes a February incident involving the MV Helios Ray. The Hyperion Ray was allegedly attacked in April. This was after a Wall Street Journal report claiming that Israel had struck a dozen Iranian ships.  
Salami’s main message is that Israel is suffering from a long decline and the “Zionist regime” is collapsing from within. He also says that the US is gradually leaving the region. The message is that Israel’s “security bubble” has been penetrated.
The program aired on Wednesday, May 6. “We are on the eve of Al-Quds [Jerusalem] Day,” he said, recalling the leadership of former IRGC Quds Force head Gen. Qassem Soleimani, “whose memory is always alive in our hearts.”
He says Iran “is facing a new political phenomenon in the world and the region,” adding that we are now seeing a “gradual political decline of the great powers outside the region and inside the region.”
The IRGC Commander-in-Chief continued: “This arrangement of power is breaking; the connection we saw on the front of a coalition of demons and the arrogant of the world is breaking.” What this means is that he is referring to the US, which Iran sees as an “arrogant” power. He accused enemies of wanting to change Islam, an apparent reference to the Gulf states.  
“The United States cannot help them,” he said. “Today, the United States cannot do anything to save Saudi Arabia from an obvious defeat; the United States itself has not been able to intervene directly or indirectly in the past and is completely on the margins of change.”
Salami said that Riyadh could not defeat the Iranian-backed “Yemeni Mujahideen (jihadists),” a reference to the Houthis. Saudi Arabia and Iran have held rounds of talks in Iraq aimed at some kind of arrangement and Salami’s message is that the US is leaving the region and Iran has leverage.  
“The Americans are under political pressure from public opinion and under pressure from Iraqis,” he said, adding that Iraqi groups “are trying to expel the United States from the region in any way possible.” He is referring to Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq, and other PMU units that fire rockets at American facilities in Iraq. Three such attacks happened this week.  
TURNING TO Israel, he said that “we see fragility and vulnerability in the Israeli national security system, but the United States cannot help the Zionist regime. We do not see [them]; their foreign policy is not active… The region is affected by such a situation, the balance of power is clearly changing in favor of Yemen, and the Saudis have been hit very hard. None of the Saudi air defense and missile systems, which are all American, are capable.”
He pointed to Houthi drone operations as a success. “There is a political balance in Syria and it is moving towards an election,” Salami said. “The Resistance Front in Syria has not faced any decline. There is political unity in Iraq, and resistance movements are active in Iraq.” The “resistance” is a reference to Iran and its allies in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria.  
The IRGC head sketched out Iranian power bestriding the region. As the US is “weakened” and “lacks influence,” he said that Iran now has a role in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan. “We see that the noble lineage of Islamic Resistance is responding, so the region is a region in which the process of the US security presence has been completely weakened, [and] it has been shown that it is not possible to implant foreign forces in this region.”
He praised the Quds force. “The Quds Force was able to create power in Lebanon and Palestine and make the Palestinians self-sufficient.” Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas have both threatened to attack Israel in recent days. The Quds force is now run by Email Ghaani, an expert on Afghanistan. He has had trouble controlling pro-Iranian groups in Iraq and Syria.
SALAMI THEN returned to the subject of Israel. He said Israel was in a state of decay and covering up its internal weaknesses. “The Israelis have tried to show a figure of authority over the past year and a half and have tried to expand the scope of their evil, while they have [experienced] tremendous damage.”
He claimed that Israel has suffered blows at sea. “It is very easy for Israel’s maritime trade to be seriously disrupted.” He then pointed to an explosion in an “Israeli satellite engine factory. A large refinery in Haifa then exploded… harm to 80 companies and killing their spies in Erbil, Iraq.”
He then referred to an S-200 fired from Syria. “The missile struck near Dimona… They could not destroy it. Any tactical action can be a great defeat for them. You can destroy Israel with one operation.”  
Salami then warned Israel to be careful. “They have correctly understood the power of our drones… These modern advances have taken place in all areas. Our drone power is a modern power that competes with all the advanced drone powers in the world. The most important feature of our drones is their accuracy and range. The accuracy is so high that it will target very small points.” Iran has numerous drones, some with ranges exceeding 1,000 km. Recent concerns have pointed to Iran using drones from Yemen to strike at Israel.  
Iran evidently thinks Israel is in economic decline and losing “social cohesion,” as Salami said. He may be referring to the Israeli elections. “They have held four elections to appoint a prime minister, but they have not been able to do so and will probably go to the fifth election.”
He says the Zionist system has collapsed. “They have extraordinary injuries. One or two months ago, all the injuries of the Zionist regime were shown.” He urged Israel “to regulate their behavior based on reality. The biggest failure of irrational and evil political systems such as the US and Israel is that they do not have the power to make a realistic and accurate assessment of the environment and the scene.”