Iran threatens swift retaliation on U.S. and Israel
Iranian general claims 'measures have been taken' to ensure a swift counterattack should U.S. or Israel strike.
Iran's semi-official news agency Fars is reporting the country can destroy nearby United States military bases and strike Israel within minutes of an attack on the Islamic Republic.
The Wednesday report quotes Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh of the powerful Revolutionary Guards as saying U.S. bases, and Israel — which he referred to as "occupied territories" — are in range of Iran's missiles and could be struck as a retaliatory measure.
"Measures have been taken so that we could destroy all these bases in the early minutes of an attack," said Hajizadeh, chief of the Guards' airspace division.
The General's comments follow a three day military exercise carried out by the
Iranian Revolutionary Guard, in which missiles with various capabilities and ranges were test fired throughout the country.
Hajizadeh also said the Guards successfully test fired an anti-ship missile
that could sink U.S. warships in the Gulf. Gen. Hajizadeh told state TV that
the shore-to-sea ballistic missile, called "Persian Gulf," has a range of 300
kilometers (180 miles).
State TV showed video of the launching of a white missile that hit a huge
target in Gulf waters.
The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain, an island in the Gulf about
200 kilometers (120 miles) from Iran, well within range of Iranian missiles
The military exercise coinicided with the renewal of nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers, the U.S., Russia, China, France, the U.K. and Germany, which took place in Istanbul.
Iran and the West are at odds over Tehran's nuclear ambitions and neither Israel nor the U.S. have ruled out a military strike on the country if diplomacy fails to stop its nuclear program.