Source: Fars News , Date: 02 November 2011
In a press conference on Tuesday, the Chief of Staff of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s armed forces, Major General Hassan Firuzabadi, responded to recent reports that the United States, Great Britain, and Israel may carry out military strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
According to the Guardian, Britain’s armed forces have stepped-up planning for a possible military strike against Iran to stop or slow down its nuclear program, which the West and some Middle Eastern countries fear may be used to build nuclear weapons. Haaretz has similarly reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Cabinet are also considering a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Firuzabadi downplayed the threat of a possible attack, calling it a ploy by the West and Israel to distract from their domestic problems and their loss of power in the Arab Spring, which Iran calls the “Islamic Awakening”. He also promised retaliation if any such attack was carried out against Iran:
“The Zionist regime [Israel] is the real loser of the Islamic Awakening in the region and the Occupy Wall-Street Movement… This regime was created like a dagger in the side of Muslims in order to plunder the oil and resources of the region.”
“America knows that a military strike by the Zionist regime on Iran will result in serious consequences for America and this regime [Israel] and for now only takes this position to keep up appearances. As the armed forces we see a threat, no matter how unlikely and far away, as a serious threat, and with [our] excellent preparation and the right [military] supplies are prepared to harshly punish any mistakes such that [they] will be shocked…”
He also expressed support for Syria, saying that it was different from other dictatorships in the region:
“The regime ruling Damascus is a regime which in the last thirty years has not made peace with Israel, and as the frontline against the regime occupying Jerusalem [Israel], has stood behind Palestine… The rulers of Syria have major differences with dictatorships in the region like [Saudi] Arabia, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia.”
Finally, he denied that a Libya-style military operation could be carried out in Syria:
“In the Islamic Awakening movements of the region, except for Syria, it is the people who have stood before these dictatorships. However it is America, Hillary Clinton, the Zionist regime, and unfortunately Turkey-which has been tricked by the Americans – who stand against Syria…Using the Libya-model to frighten the rulers of Syria is meant to lower Syria’s position [in the region], not because they can implement the Libya-model there. If they break the frontline against the regime occupying Jerusalem, all Muslims will riot, and as a consequence neither America nor the Zionist regime shall remain.”
Editor’s note: Despite the reports which point to possible military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities in the coming year, Iran does not appear to perceive an imminent military threat.
The US and NATO also do not appear to be planning a military campaign- at least in the short-term. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney recently stated that “We remain focused on a diplomatic channel here, a diplomatic course in terms of dealing with Iran”, while NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen also firmly denied this course of action, saying that “NATO has no intention whatsoever to intervene in Iran, and NATO is not engaged as an alliance in the Iran question.”