Iran’s military chief says that his country is ready for a “decisive battle” against the U.S. and Israel if the Islamic Republic is attacked by either. He specifically threatened to “invade” adversaries’ “possessions” and to attack American military bases in the Persian Gulf.
“We are ready for the decisive battle against the U.S. and the Zionist regime,” Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Hassan Firouzabadi told Iran’s Fars News Agency on Wednesday.
"We warn that if an attack is launched on our troops from any territory, we will invade all the possessions of the enemy," Iran’s military commander said. “We do not feel any hostility for any of the regional state, but if we are targeted from the U.S. bases in the region, we will hit those bases."
In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, attends a graduation ceremony of army cadets, accompanied by Revolutionary Guard commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, left, Chief of the General Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Hasan Firouzabadi, second left in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Oct. 5 2013. (AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)
“If any war is launched against Iran, we won’t give any ground to the enemy and they themselves know this very well,” he said, emphasizing that Iran has been preparing with wargames for this kind of ultimate battle.
“These words that they utter (about war with Iran) now are just political bluffing,” he said in apparent reference to suggestions by President Barack Obama that “all options” are on the table – including the military option - regarding Iran’s controversial nuclear program. The suggestion was reiterated by Secretary of State John Kerry last month who referred to a scenario in which Tehran enriched uranium beyond levels agreed to by western nations under the Geneva agreement.
The military chief’s words are just the latest in a string of belligerent rhetoric and actions undertaken by Iran over the past week including the test-firing of two new domestically produced missiles, announcing Iranian warships in the Atlantic Ocean would sail near U.S. maritime borders, and broadcasting a video on Iranian state television simulating attacks on an American aircraft carrier and Israeli cities.
Iranians poured into the streets on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, holding anti-American signs, burning U.S., British and Israeli flags and chanting “down with the U.S.” and “death to Israel.”
On Friday, Iran’s parliament speaker called Israel a “cancer” of the region.