A senior Iranian military official said today that his country had drawn up plans to launch airstrikes against Israel in case of war between the two countries, according to an interview published by an Iranian news agency.
Gen. Mohammed Alavi, a deputy commander in the Iranian air force, told the semi-official Fars News Agency that his country could attack Israel with long-range missiles as well as fighter planes in case of war between the two countries.
Israeli and U.S. officials have threatened the possibility of preemptive attacks on Iran to block it from obtaining advanced nuclear technology that could be used to build atomic weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is meant to augment civilian energy needs.
Military analysts say Iran could retaliate against any U.S. or Israeli air raids by hitting targets in the Persian Gulf, disrupting oil flows or launching attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq or Afghanistan. [complete article]
Editor’s Comment — When for weeks the Bush administration has been doing nothing to dampen speculation that Iran has been targeted for bombing, and after Israel’s recent mysterious attack on facilities in eastern Syria, it is completely disingenuous for the White House to claim that Iran’s comments on retaliation were “totally unprovoked.”
Israel itself has downplayed the Iranian threat:
Israeli officials are treating Iran’s latest claims that it has 600 Shihab-3 missiles aimed at targets throughout the country the same way it treated Teheran’s claims last month to have crossed a key nuclear threshold: by listening carefully, but not believing everything they hear.
Is this the response we would expect from a nation that supposedly lives in the shadow of an existential threat?