Iran General NewsGeneral says Iran can strike back at Israel

General says Iran can strike back at Israel

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New York Times: A senior military official warned on Wednesday that Iran had prepared a plan to attack Israel if Israel bombed Iran, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported. The New York Times

By NAZILA FATHI
Published: September 20, 2007

TEHRAN, Sept. 19 — A senior military official warned on Wednesday that Iran had prepared a plan to attack Israel if Israel bombed Iran, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported.

“We have drawn up a plan to strike back at Israel with our bombers if this regime possibly makes a silly mistake,” said the official, Gen. Mohammad Alavi, the deputy commander of Iran’s air force.

General Alavi spoke in the wake of remarks by the French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, who said Sunday that nations should prepare for a possible war with Iran if it continued with its nuclear work. Mr. Kouchner and the French Foreign Ministry subsequently toned down the remarks.

International pressure increased on Iran this week. The permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia — plus Germany will meet in Washington on Friday to discuss tougher economic sanctions on Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran has already been the target of two sets of economic sanctions.

The United States and some European countries accuse Iran of having a clandestine nuclear arms program. But Iran insists that its program is peaceful.

A State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, said Tuesday that Washington was working on a new draft of sanction resolutions to be discussed at the Friday meeting.

General Alavi added in a long interview with Fars that Iran’s “missiles can reach all parts of Israel” if Iran wanted to retaliate. “In addition, we can attack them with our fighter bombers in case of an unlikely attack.”

“We have acquired the capability to confront them,” he said.

“They should know that we will destroy at least 30 percent of their forces before they can leave our country,” he warned, referring to a possible airstrike against Iran.

Iranian officials have dismissed threats of war as psychological warfare, but they have vowed to retaliate if they come under attack.

In similar comments, Defense Minister Mostafa Najar warned the United States on Wednesday that Iran had different ways to retaliate, Fars reported.

“In response to the U.S. officials who said they have various options to deal with Iran,” he said, “I must say that we also have various options to respond to threats.”

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