If Israel’s threats to strike Iran “become practical, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran will immediately attack all centers, bases, routes, and spaces used to cross, as well as the origin of the aggression in accordance with the trained operational plans,” said a commander according to an Iranian news agency linked to the country’s top security body.
By Erin Viner
Citing a “well-informed military official,” Nournews reported that Major General Gholam Ali Rashid, Commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Central Headquarters, made the remarks to other senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) during the Prophet17 military exercise.
“It is worth mentioning that some time ago, the Zionist regime’s media quoted their Minister of War as saying that he had ordered the Israeli army to be ready for military operations against Iran,” the Nournews article concluded.
Earlier this week, Chief of General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Bagheri said, “Despite our confidence in the deterrence situation of the country, our forces have never underestimated the threat of the enemy and are prepared for the smallest of threats in the strategic field,” reported the Tehran Times.
In an article headlined “Just One Wrong Move,” the Iranian newspaper also published a map of dozens of Iranian targets in Israel, while warning that, “the Zionist regime has forgotten that Iran is more than capable of hitting them from anywhere.”
The paper also noted that the IDF confirmed it will hold a large-scale exercise with dozens of advanced aircraft more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) over the Mediterranean Sea this coming spring to simulate the distance necessary to launch strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“Germany has paired up with the UK to collaborate with Israel during the Vienna talks,” reported the Tehran Times, asserting that new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has assumed “a tougher stance against Iran” since the “admirer of Israel” since taking office on 8 December.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held a phone conversation with Chancellor Scholz on Tuesday. According to a statement from the premier’s office, the two affirmed “the importance of the effort to prevent Iran attaining weapons.”
The Ayatollah regime has repeatedly vowed to annihilate the Jewish State. Israel has consistently warned that its arch-enemy will try to secure a windfall in sanctions relief at the talks, without sufficiently rolling back nuclear bomb-making potential through its accelerated enrichment of uranium.
Israel reserves the right to act to protect itself, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has repeatedly stressed, including consideration of a “Plan B” military strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities.
Israeli officials, including Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Mossad Director David Barnea and Foreign Minister and Alternate Premier Yair Lapid have been holding a flurry of talks with their Western counterparts – including talks with American leaders to discuss a back-up, so-called “Plan B” response – if diplomatic attempts fail to prevent Iran’s quest to obtain nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile in related developments, Iran said loud noise near its Bushehr nuclear power plant were caused by a national military training exercise.
“This air defense exercise took place at 5 AM (0130 GMT) with full preparation and coordination with the armed forces,” Bushehr‘s Deputy Governor Mohammadtaqi Irani told state media after other agencies reported anti-aircraft fire had been heard in the area.
Earlier this month, Iranian officials also attributed said a large explosion above the central town of Natanz, home to the Islamic Republic’s main nuclear facility, on the firing of a missile during another air defense drill.
Iran has accused Israel of committing several sabotage attacks on sites linked to its nuclear program, such as the major blast at Natanz in April; as well as the assassination of nuclear scientists over the past years, including Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadehin 2020.
Israel has neither denied nor confirmed the allegations.