Iran is reportedly unimpressed and undeterred by the recent U.S.-led war games that took place around the Strait of Hormuz. Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi described the games in the Persian Gulf as, "An embarrassment for the US," according to Iran's state-run news agency FARS, on Saturday.
"If possession of (a) bomb means crossing the redline, the Zionist regime of Israel that possesses tens of nuclear warheads and different weapons of mass destruction has crossed the redline many years ago and ought to be confronted," said Vahidi, adding that, "If the US and western leaders are really after defusing danger in the region... they should cut relations with the dangerous Zionist regime and exert pressure and sanctions on this regime (Israel) until a full dismantlement of its WMDs."
The U.S. and several other countries recently completed naval exercises reportedly geared toward clearing the Strait of Hormuz of mines. The U.S.-led armada was purported to be the largest ever, since these exercises began. The Iranian government has made threats on several occasions that it would close the strait by mining it.
Meanwhile, Iran has vowed to continue its nuclear program, amid the objections of Israel and the U.S., despite urgings from UN Security Council members and direct warnings from the U.S. and Israel. This week, Iranian Civil Defense Organization Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali, said that Iran's nuclear sites are prepared and fully capable of preventing any attempts at cyber-sabotage as well.
"We can say that our nuclear systems are vaccinated against computer viruses and malwares," said Jalali.
In 2010, Iran's nuclear program became a victim of a highly complex and sophisticated computer virus called Stuxnet. The malware reportedly severely crippled the country's nuclear facilities. However, Iran has downplayed the effects of the virus, claiming it has produced antivirus software capable of detecting and successfully removing it and its variants from infected systems.
Additionally Iran has reported that it successfully thwarted what it called attempts by "terrorists and saboteurs," to physically disable its sites as well. It now appears that Iran has bolstered its defenses against strikes from within and without against its nuclear facilities; another clear message that the country has no plans on discontinuing its nuclear program.
Iran has promised that it would strike at U.S. interests in the region if Israel makes any attempt at a pre-emptive attack against it. It recently said it would target 35 U.S. bases with its Shahab missiles if attacked. The Shahab 6 is a long-range missile reported to have nuclear warhead capability.
The U.S. and Israel are remaining in close communication as the situation continues to develop. Neither the U.S. nor Israel has issued a direct ultimatum to Iran to comply with its requests but have implied that an attack may come at anytime within the next year.