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News number: 8709020747

12:57 | 2008-11-22

Defence

نسخه چاپي ارسال به دوستان

Israel Boosts War Rhetoric against Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- Israeli intelligence sources say the prospect of military action against Iran has increased significantly in the past few weeks.



Israeli sources told the Times on Friday that in the past few weeks Tel Aviv has witnessed an increase in the chances of launching an airborne attack on Iran's nuclear infrastructure.

The revelation comes as Israeli military officials recently sent mixed signals about a calculated attack on Iran.

In a Wednesday interview with German weekly Der Speigel, Israeli Air Force Commander General Ido Nehushtan claimed that his forces were ready to follow any order to bring Iran's nuclear program to a halt.

"The IAF is a very robust and flexible force... ready to do whatever is demanded," he claimed.

Former Israeli military general Moshe Ya'alon, meanwhile, claimed that Tel Aviv has the 'right capabilities' to launch a successful strike on Iran.

"(A strike) is not the end of the game. Then, we should follow it up with a viable, sustainable military operation to target the facilities (serving) the regime's interests, and not allow the regime to rehabilitate itself," he said.

The head of the Israeli military's Diplomatic-Security Bureau Amos Gilad, however, said a military attack on Iran would pose a 'considerable challenge'.

"Iran is a country with smart people that have capabilities... It really would be a considerable challenge," he said.

Israel's military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin also dismissed an Israeli plan to strike Iran, saying the world financial crisis and Barack Obama's election as the next US president have dissipated the chances of wiping out the Iranian enrichment program.

Any military attack on Iran would require US cooperation as it would almost certainly involve Israeli warplanes flying through the Washington-controlled Iraqi airspace.

The Iranian armed forces have repeatedly warned that any attempted violation of Iran's territorial integrity would be a 'suicidal folly'.

"After failure in its 33-day-war on Lebanon, Israel has realized that any effort or movement against Iran would have devastating consequences," the top Iranian military commander Yahya Rahim-Safavi said on Sunday.

Meantime, a senior Iranian military official said here on Saturday that the Bush administration has created the required infrastructure for attacking Iran and delivered his war plan to Obama, , adding that Obama's election has provided Iran with a one-year opportunity to increase preparedness.

Addressing a meeting to mark the start of the Week of Basij (mobilization of volunteer forces), lieutenant commander of the General Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Gholam-Ali Rasheed said that US President George Bush has established the infrastructures required in the region for posing a threat to Iran.

"The United States' threats have now found a structural form. They have done the planning for reaching the necessary preparedness to wage a war (against Iran) through setting up military bases, holding (security) pacts, etc.," he said.

The General viewed "northwestern and southeastern Iran as well as the southwestern province of Khuzestan as vulnerable points" the US forces are likely to use if they want to invade Iran, and underlined that the aforementioned areas should become invulnerable within the next one year.

He further urged military officials to leave war rhetoric and expression of foreign policy views to politicians and "accelerate measures to boost Iran's deterrent power".

Considering that the country is now under threat, he said, we should consider measures to prevent entering the stage of actual war.

Speculation that Israel could bomb Iran has mounted since a big Israeli air drill in June. In the first week of June, 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters reportedly took part in an exercise over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece, which was interpreted as a dress rehearsal for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear installations.

Iran has, in return, warned that it would target Israel and its worldwide interests in case it comes under attack by the Tel Aviv.

A US attack on the Syrian village of Sukkariyah on October 26, has also raised speculation about the likelihood of a US unilateral strike on the Islamic Republic.

The United States has also always stressed that military action is a main option for the White House to deter Iran's progress in the field of nuclear technology.

Iran has warned it could close the strategic Strait of Hormoz if it became the target of a military attack over its nuclear program.

Strait of Hormoz, the entrance to the strategic Persian Gulf waterway, is a major oil shipping route.

Meantime, a recent study by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a prestigious American think tank, has found that a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities "is unlikely" to delay the country's program.