Threat of Attack
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said Saturday the country would strike Israel's nuclear facilities if Tel Aviv attacked the Islamic state, Reuters reported state television as saying.
"If the Zionist Regime (Israel) attacks Iran, we will surely strike its nuclear facilities with our missile capabilities," Mohammad Ali Jafari, Guards commander-in-chief, said.
Jafari said Israel was entirely within the reach of Iran.
"Our missile capability puts all of the Zionist regime (Israel) within Iran's reach to attack," Jafari said.
Iranian leaders have said Iran would respond to any attack from Israel by targeting U.S. interests and Israel.
Jafari said Iran "was not scared" of Israel's military capabilities.
"It is part of the psychological war that the West has launched against Iran," Jafari said.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said this week a nuclear Iran could be contained by a U.S. "defense umbrella," setting off tremors in the Middle East.
Since making the remark on a television chat show in Thailand, Clinton has backpedaled, saying she was only restating existing policy and not referring to any sort of formal guarantees of protection under an American "nuclear umbrella."
And when Israeli officials raised alarms that she seemed to suggest the U.S. was resigned to a nuclear-armed Iran, Clinton and senior State Department officials hastily insisted such a prospect was still unacceptable and that no policy had changed.
The Obama administration is dispatching four of its most senior foreign policy and security figures to Israel this coming week to urge the country to shelve any plan for a military strike to sabotage Iran's nuclear facilities, arguing that Obama's offer of engagement and talks with Iran deserves time to bear fruit.
Obama's senior military advisers say a strike could cause more problems than it solves in the short run, but Israeli leaders are firm that their small country in Iran's line of fire must make such calculations for itself.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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