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News number: 8708020568

17:34 | 2008-10-23

Defence

نسخه چاپي ارسال به دوستان

Commander: Iran Recognizes No Boundary for Retaliatory Strikes

TEHRAN (FNA)- A top Iranian commander warned here on Wednesday that his country would recognize no boundary for retaliatory strikes in case it comes under attack by aggressors.



Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Mohammad Bagher Zolghadr said that if the country comes under attack, the Iranian military would not limit itself to its borders.

"The Iranian nation's determination to repel any attack knows no bounds," said the Iranian commander.

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.

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.

A recent article published by the Guardian confirmed that Israel has 'seriously considered' whether to launch air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities in spring.

According to the article, however, a plea by former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert for a green light to target Iranian nuclear installations was turned down by US President George W. Bush in a May 14 meeting.

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.

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.

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.

The UN nuclear watchdog has also carried out at least 14 surprise inspections of Iran's nuclear sites so far, but found nothing to support West's allegations.

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.

The ISIS study also cautioned that an attack against Iran would backfire by compelling the country to acquire nuclear weaponry.

An increasing number of specialists now believe that the global financial crisis is making difficult any US or Israeli plan to target Iran's nuclear facilities.

Mark Stoker, a defense economist at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, also ruled out the possibility of any military action against Iran.

"It stands to reason that it (an offensive against Iran) would be expensive, and they are already doing a lot," Stoker said, referring to US military involvement in the Middle East.

"The consensus among American decision-makers is that bombing Iran is not the path to pursue right now. I see players being more and more cautious about the consequences to fragile economies of an oil spike," Reuters quoted ex-US Air Force colonel Sam Gardiner as saying on Wednesday.