‘Iran will hit Tel Aviv, US fleet in Gulf if attacked’

July 8th, 2008 - 7:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, July 8 (Xinhua) Iran will strike Tel Aviv and the US fleet in the Gulf as a first response to any attack against the country, an aide to Iran’s topmost leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday. “The Zionist regime (Israel) is pressuring White House (US) officials to prepare a military attack against Iran,” Ali Shirazi, Khamenei’s representative in the naval division of the Revolutionary Guards of Iran, was quoted as saying by Iran’s ISNA news agency.

“If they commit such a silly move, Tel Aviv and the US fleet in the Persian Gulf will be Iran’s first targets and they will be burned with Iran’s crushing response,” Shirazi said.

He warned that the US interests around the world would also be hit if Iran is attacked over its nuclear activities.

“The first bullet fired by the United States at Iran will be followed by Iran’s response of burning down its vital interests around the globe,” Shirazi said.

“The Iranian nation will never accept bullying…(and) no forces in the world can confront it,” he added.

Iran’s English-language satellite channel Press TV reported earlier Tuesday that missile units of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have begun military maneuvers in the Gulf to improve combat readiness and capability.

The war games, called Payambar-e Azam III, were conducted by missile units of the IRGC’s naval and air forces, Press TV quoted Fars news agency as saying.

The war games came after IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said in late June that Tehran would impose controls on shipping in the strategic Strait of Hormuz if it was attacked.

The US and its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear programme.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.

The Bush administration said it focused on diplomacy to try to resolve Iran’s nuclear issue, but will take “no option off the table”.

Some observers believe that it is still possible that the US and Israel would attack Iranian targets for Tehran’s suspected nuclear programmes.

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