Iran warns US, Britain of reprisals

Revolutionary Guards chief: Iran would respond with its missiles if attacked.

shihab 298 88 (photo credit: AP)
shihab 298 88
(photo credit: AP)
Iran's Revolutionary Guards chief Saturday warned the United States and Britain that Iran would respond with its missiles if attacked, a clear threat to Israel, which lies within easy range of such a launch. "The world knows Iran has a ballistic missile power with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,300 miles)," Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi said on state-run television. Iran's improved version of Shihab-3 missile can strike more than 2,000 kilometers (1,300 miles) from their launch site, putting Israel and US forces in the Middle East in easy range. "We have no intention to invade any country. We will take effective defense measures if attacked," he said. "These missiles are in the possession of the Guards." The Guards were equipped with the missiles in July 2003. "We are producing these missiles and don't need foreign technology for that," he said. Iran announced last year that it had fully developed solid fuel technology for missiles, a major breakthrough that increases their accuracy. Iran's Revolutionary Guards are a separate organization from the regular armed forces. Founded after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Guards have their own air, naval and ground components. Safavi also accused US and British intelligence services of provoking unrest in the oil-rich southwestern Iran and providing bomb materials to Iranian dissidents. He said the US and Britain were behind bombings January 21 that killed at least nine people in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, near the southern border with Iraq where 8,500 British soldiers are based. "Foreign forces based in Iraq, especially southern Iraq, direct Iranian agents and give them bomb materials," he said. Safavi said Iran was monitoring dissidents and their alleged links with the US and British forces. "We are aware of their meetings in Kuwait and Iraq," he said. "We warn them (US and Britain), especially the MI-6 and CIA, that they refrain from interfering in Iran's affairs."