September 20, 2008

Top Military Advisor Warns US against Iran Attack

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian military advisor warned that any US military action against Iran will seriously endanger thousands of American soldiers deployed in the region.

"If the US officials make a strategic mistake, 200,000 American soldiers will be seriously imperiled in the (Middle East) region," Major General Yahya Safavi, the senior military advisor to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei told IRNA.

The former chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) emphasized that "the US and Israel are not in a position to get engaged in a great war."

"The Zionist regime of Israel lacks the needed capabilities to begin a large conflict and it seems that the US is not interested in getting engaged in a fourth front, after wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Georgia," he said.

He said that the Iranian military, the IRGC forces, and 11 million volunteer paramilitary troops are ready to defend the country against all threats.

Speculation that Israel may bomb Iran rose after a military exercise by the Zionist regime earlier this year. In early June, Israel conducted a military maneuver over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece in preparation, according to Pentagon officials, for an aerial bombardment of Iranian nuclear facilities.

Over 100 Israeli F-16s and F-15s partook in the exercise, which spanned some 900 miles, roughly the distance between their airfields and a nuclear enrichment facility in the central Iranian city of Natanz.

The United States has also always stressed that military action is among its main options on the table.

In response, Iran has warned it could close the strategic Strait of Hormoz if it became the target of a military attack over its nuclear program.

Strait of Hormoz, the entrance to the strategic Persian Gulf waterway, is a major oil shipping route.

Intensified threats by Tel Aviv and Washington of military action against Iran are in direct opposition to a recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies which endorsed the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear plans and activities.

Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head - one in November and the other one in February - which praised Iran's truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions or launch military attack on Iran seems to be completely irrational.

The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran's cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran's nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.

The UN nuclear watchdog has also carried out at least 14 surprise inspections of Iran's nuclear sites so far, but found nothing to support West's allegations.

Following the said reports by the US and international bodies, many world states have called the UN Security Council pressure against Tehran unjustified, demanding that Iran's case must be normalized and returned from the UNSC to the IAEA.

Meantime, a recent study by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a prestigious American think tank, found that a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities "is unlikely" to delay the country's program.