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News number: 8708020653

19:59 | 2008-10-23

Defence

نسخه چاپي ارسال به دوستان

Aggression to Drive Iran Beyond Borders

TEHRAN (FNA)- The deputy chief of the General Staff of Iran's Armed Forces said on Wednesday that any aggression on Iran will drive the country's operation beyond its borders.



"All Islamic world is considered as Iran's support," General Mohammad Bagher Zolghadr told FNA.

"The Iranian nation's determination to repel any attack knows no bounds," he underlined.

"A regime like Israel is too weak to attack a strong and powerful country like Iran," the General said, referring to recent threats against the Islamic Republic.

Zolghadr said despite the ongoing war rhetoric, he seriously doubts the Israeli regime would ever "become foolish enough to attack Iran".

"Israel is in no position to take military action against Iran. We doubt the regime would ignore the serious repercussions of such an unwise act," he added.

The Iranian Army Air Force conducted a large-scale war game this week to confront the potential attacks against the country.

During the exercise, which lasted from Oct. 16 through Oct. 20 in northwestern Iran near Turkey, the Iranian air force tested new air-to-air missiles as well as combat maneuvers.

This was the second major air exercise in Iran since August 2008. The first aerial drill focused on air defense and included a range of surface-to-air missiles.

The Islamic Republic of Iran's Army also said it will stage a new military drill in the country's western provinces to test new military tactics and weaponry.

The Army declared on Wednesday that the war games will be held in Kermanshah and Ilam provinces this month, without disclosing the exact date.

"The war game would resemble no maneuvers the army has held in the past because old military tactics have no place in it," the Army said in a statement.

The Iranian Air Force will also take part in the exercise.

Iran's Armed Forces and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) completed military maneuvers called Payambar-e Azam 3 (Great Prophet 3) in the Persian Gulf in mid July to improve combat readiness and capability.

Iran also successfully test fired new long- and medium-range missiles in the drills held shortly after Israel purportedly conducted an air maneuver over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece early June in what was considered as preparation for a war against Iran.

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.

Iran has also 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.

Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads.

Iran vehemently denies the charges, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

The United States and Israel have consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military strikes against Iran over its refusal to give up the nuclear rights envisaged for all signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed the country's preparedness to repel any aggression, but meantime pointed out that the US or Israeli threats against Tehran serve as mere psychological operations.

"Thank God, Iran enjoys brave and committed armed forces leading to strong national sovereignty," Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said.

"The enemies have repeatedly confessed that the Islamic Iran and its armed forces are in the most powerful status," he added.

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has also reiterated sever retaliation in case of any aggression, warning earlier this month that Iran would cut off the hands of the aggressor to his country.

Intensified threats by Tel Aviv and Washington of military action against Iran contradict a recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies which endorsed the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear plans and activities.

Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head - one in November and the other one in February - which praised Iran's truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions or launch military attack on Iran seems to be completely irrational.

The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran's cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran's nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.

Following the said reports by the US and international bodies, many world states have called the UN Security Council pressure against Tehran unjustified, demanding that Iran's case be normalized and returned from the UNSC to the IAEA.

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.