The jingoistic war rhetoric between rivals Iran and Israel is heightening, with a senior Iranian army commander now giving a dire warning that a military conflict between the two nations could well escalate into “World War III” and also declaring that a “pre-emptive strike” against Israel by Iran cannot be ruled out.
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, told Iran’s Arabic-language Al-Alam TV network that if Israel “is putting the final touches on attacking Iran,” Tel Aviv “cannot imagine” the force of Iran’s response to its attack. “It will sustain heavy damage and that will be a prelude to its obliteration,” he declared belligerently.
Hajizadeh said that currently Tehran did not see this happening because he did not think Israel will attack Iran without its staunchest ally, America. However, if the U.S. backs Israel’s agenda of attacking Iran, the latter will strike out against both Washington and Tel Aviv. Also, according to Hajizadeh, who is in charge of the Iranian Guard's aerospace division, any attack on Iran could well trigger a "World War III."
"We cannot imagine the Zionist regime starting a war without America's support. Therefore, in case of a war, we will get into a war with both of them and we will certainly get into a conflict with American bases," Hajizadeh blistered. "In that case, unpredictable and unmanageable things would happen and it could turn into a World War III," he predicted.
Hajizadeh went on to add that Iran will most certainly be striking at U.S bases in “Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan,” and there will be no neutral nation left in the region. “To us, these bases are equal to U.S. soil,” he added. This statement comes on the heels of a statement from the chief of the Revolutionary Guard, General Mohammad.
Jafari on Saturday told ISNA and Fars news: "If they begin [aggression], it will spell their destruction and will be the end of the story." He went on to add that this war “will eventually happen” as the Islamic revolution starts moving towards its goals, and this is something U.S. and Israel cannot tolerate and so they will finally “impose a war situation.”
The latest statement from Hajizadeh on launching a “pre-emptive strike” against Israel comes as a reaction to Israel’s threats to strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s contention is that numerous sanctions have failed to be a deterrent to Tehran's purported nuclear weapons program.
In the beginning of September, Netanyahu accused the U.S. and other world powers of not drawing a “clear red line” with regard to Iran, which he contended that unless Iran sees this line and determination will not stop moving ahead with its nuclear program. “Iran must never be allowed to acquire nuclear arms,” demanded Netanyahu.
However, despite all the Israeli pressure tactics, President Obama refused to bow to Netanyahu’s demand. Keeping in mind that this is a presidential election year and cannot possibly rock the election boat with a war, a firm Obama on Sept. 14 made it clear to Israel that there would be no “red lines or deadlines” because “there remains time and space for diplomacy.” This statement also clearly brought out the rift in the close allies, with regard to Iran.
The latest belligerent statements from the top Iranian military brass come against the backdrop of major U.S.-led minesweeping exercises taking place in the Persian Gulf. The drills are being construed by many as a show of strength, a kind of warning to Iran not to interrupt critical oil pathways in the Strait of Hormuz. Of course, U.S. officials justify the naval exercises as being fully defensive in nature and not aimed at any nation in the region.
Tension continues to mount, with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah annual U.N. General Assembly and most likely will use the platform and meetings scheduled for later this week to underscore the possible risks of a military conflict between Israel and Iran., on Friday calling Israel a “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut,” and even boasting of supporting any group that will challenge the Jewish state. Meanwhile, Iran maintains that its nuclear development program is meant only for peaceful uses. Iran’s President is presently in New York. He is attending the
Opinion: So why must an Israel-Iran conflict be averted at all costs? To begin with, the risks far outweigh the benefits (which as it is will be nil). The consequence of such a conflagration will be just unimaginable. It will bring in many nuclear-equipped nations to take sides, and once that happens, there is no guarantee that nuclear arsenals will not be used in the warfare. For instance, if Israeli strikes Iran, Pakistan would be forced to support Iran’s retaliation. That would raise the specter of a nuclear-armed Pakistan against Israel, which is widely understood to possess its own significant nuclear arsenal.
Secondly, not just militarily but financially too, the Iran-Israel conflict will be disastrous for the world economy, which is declining rapidly. In fact, the political and economic ramifications will be catastrophic particularly for Europe and Asia. There would most likely be a spike in oil prices, which in turn would push the entire European Union (not to forget other nations around the world) into an abbess of recession. Most certainly there would be a collapse of an already shaky euro.
Above all, why must all nations not be mute spectators to this possible conflagration? This conflict will no longer remain restricted to the two hostile neighbors. It will inevitably turn out to be nuclear warfare, thereby taking the world in its grip adversely impacting all people around the globe. Anyone who has read or knows about the effects of the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during the Second World War will realize what kind of catastrophe would befall humanity if Iran and Israel are allowed to go to war with each other. Maybe this is a dire prediction, but then it is better to be prepared for the worst. For sure, there would be no winners in this war.
Check a related report from T J Larson: UN secretary-general issues veiled threat to Iranian president
Sources: NBC news/RT.com/Alarabiya.net
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