Hezbollah Warns Israel against War with Iran

A04914276.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Israel will be targeted by thousands of rockets if it attacks Iran, a senior official in the Lebanese Hezbollah group said on Sunday.

There has been speculation that either the United States or Israel could attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, although both have said force should be a last recourse in curbing a nuclear program.

Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads.

Iran vehemently denies the charges, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

“The first shot fired from the Zionist entity towards Iran will be met by a response of 11,000 rockets in the direction of the Zionist entity. This is what military leaders in the Islamic Republic have confirmed,” said Mohammed Raad, the head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc. His remarks were reported by the National News Agency.

Hezbollah, which shares Iran’s Shiite Islamist ideology, has not said what it would do in the event of a conflict between Iran and Israel.

Hezbollah fired thousands of missiles into Israel during a 34-day war in 2006.

Both Hezbollah and Israel have said the group has expanded its missile capability since the 2006 conflict.

Speculation that Israel could bomb Iran has mounted since a big Israeli air drill last month. In the first week of June, 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters reportedly took part in an exercise over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece, which was interpreted as a dress rehearsal for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear installations.

Iran has responded by saying it will strike back at Tel Aviv, as well as US interests and shipping, if it is hit.

Intensified threats by Tel Aviv and Washington of military action against Tehran contradicts a recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies which said Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

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.

The ISIS study also cautioned that an attack against Iran would backfire by compelling the country to acquire nuclear weaponry.

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