Khamenei aide: Iran to hit Tel Aviv and U.S. fleet in Gulf if attacked

By Xinhua,

Tehran : Iran would strike Tel Aviv and the U.S. fleet in the Gulf as a first response to any attack against the Islamic republic, an aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday.

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“The Zionist regime (Israel) is pressuring White House officials to prepare a military attack against Iran,” Iran’s ISNA news agency quoted Ali Shirazi, Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards navy division, as saying.

“If they commit such a silly move, Tel Aviv and the U.S. fleet in the Persian Gulf will be Iran’s first targets and they will be burned with Iran’s crushing response,” Shirazi said.

He warned that the U.S. interests around the world would also be hit if Iran is attacked over its disputed nuclear activities.

“The first bullet fired by the United States at Iran will be followed by Iran’s response of burning down its vital interests around the globe,” Shirazi said.

“The Iranian nation will never accept bullying…(and) no forces in the world can confront it,” he added.

Iran’s English-language satellite channel Press TV reported earlier Tuesday that missile units of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have begun military maneuvers in the Gulf to improve combat readiness and capability.

The war games, called Payambar-e Azam 3, were conducted by missile units of the IRGC’s naval and air forces, Press TV quoted local Mehr and Fars news agencies as saying.

The war games came after IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said in late June that Tehran would impose controls on shipping in the strategic Strait of Hormuz if it was attacked.

The United States and its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program. Iran has denied the U.S. charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

The Bush administration said it focused on diplomacy to try to resolve Iran’s nuclear issue, but has insisted it will take “no option off the table.”

Some observers believe that it is still possible that the United States and Israel would attack Iranian targets for Tehran’s suspicious nuclear programs.