Senior Commander Dismisses US, Israeli Strike on Iran

A00395878.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said here Friday that no country or world power dares to launch a direct military attack on Iran.

General Abdullah Araqi, who is a senior IRGC Commander in Tehran, told a group of Qods Day ralliers that the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) had hoisted US and Israeli flags soon after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, and stood against the founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Imam Khomeini, and Islam intending to bring down the holy flag of Islam and to defeat the Muslims.

The MKO, whose main stronghold is in Iraq, is blacklisted by much of the international community, including the United States.

The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran’s new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.

The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator fight Iran and suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.

Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who also argue for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Commander Araqi said the United States, former Soviet Union, France and Israel used to support former Iraqi regime against Iran during the 1980-1988 war.

According to the Islamic republic news agency, he also added that today the Islamic Iran is so powerful that even the biggest arrogant powers cannot face it.

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.

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.

Iran has warned that it would target 32 US military bases in the Middle East as well as Israel if it comes under attack.

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.

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