Iran Says War Imminent, Warns Of ‘World War III’

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Tehran, Sept 23: Iran could launch a pre-emptive strike if Israel prepares to attack it, a top Iranian general said on Sunday warning that an Israeli strike on the Islamic Republic could trigger the World War III.
Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), told Arabic broadcaster Al-Alam on Sunday, a day after his boss warned that war was inevitable.

Should Israel and Iran engage militarily, “nothing is predictable… and it will turn into World War III,” Brigadier General said.

“We see the United States and the Zionist regime [of Israel] alongside one another and can by no means imagine that the Zionist regime would initiate a war [against Iran] without the US support….In case of the eruption of such a [war] condition, the situation would spin out of control and management; this war is likely to degenerate into the World War. It means that some countries might enter the war in favor of or against Iran,” he said.

“In circumstances in which they (the Israelis) have prepared everything for an attack, it is possible that we will make a pre-emptive attack. But we do not see this at the moment.”
So “whether the Zionist regime attacks with or without US knowledge, then we will definitely attack US bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan.”

Elaborating he said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the US bases in the region as part of the American soil and will definitely target them if a war breaks out.”

Commander warned that Israel “cannot imagine our response – and it will sustain heavy damage and that will be a prelude to its obliteration.”

On Saturday, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said war between Iran and Israel “will eventually happen, but it is not certain where and when.”
It was the first time a senior Iranian official had acknowledged a probability of war breaking out between the two arch-foes.

Jafari, quoted by the ISNA and Fars news agencies, also said such a conflict would lead to the annihilation of Israel.
“If they begin (aggression), it will spell their destruction and will be the end of the story,” he said.

On Sunday, Jafari’s deputy, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, told Fars in an interview that Iran’s “defensive strategy is based on the assumption that we will engage in a war, a massive battle against a global coalition led by the US.”

He said the Islamic republic had made preparations to “crush” the enemy by hitting “enemy bases in the region, the security of the Zionist regime (Israel) and the energy market, as well as the lives of enemy forces.”
He added: “We will not start a war. But if someone wages war against us, we will launch continuous offensives.”

Tensions have risen significantly in recent weeks, with Israel threatening to unleash air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities before the US presidential election on November 6. However, the US opposes any Israeli military action at the current juncture.

UNITED FRONT
Led by US, naval forces from 25 nations, including regional Arab states, began mock military battles in the Persian Gulf on Sunday in the largest ever naval exercise in the region.
The war games are focused on clearing mines that Iranian forces may deploy in an attempt to block traffic in the waterway. Included in the armada along with the United States are Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others.

“Planning was completed last week for the exercise that will focus on a hypothetical threat to mine the international strategic waterways of the Middle East, including the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, and the Persian Gulf,” according to a statement by the U.S. Central Command.

The 12-day drill, which lasts until September 27, is largely meant to test whether the United States and its allies can block an offensive from Iran.

Russia’s Stark Warning : Russia has starkly warned Israel and the United States against attacking Iran, saying Moscow sees no evidence that Tehran’s nuclear program is aimed at developing atomic weapons, the Interfax news agency reported.

“We warn those who are no strangers to military solutions … that this would be harmful, literally disastrous for regional stability,” Interfax quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.

An attack on Iran “would set off deep shocks in the security and economic spheres that would reverberate far beyond the boundaries of the Middle East region,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

Russian officials have issued similar warnings in the past, but Ryabkov’s remarks appeared to underscore Moscow’s concern about the possibility that Israel may be readying to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

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