A top Iranian military commander warned on Wednesday that the country possesses “secret weapons,” a day after Israel’s Foreign Minister said that the country is preparing for possible military involvement in any potential military escalation in the Persian Gulf, as tensions continue to rise between Iran and the United States.
“Our deterrence and secret weapons have stopped the filthy enemy 200 miles away [from the Iranian borders] in the Strait of Hormuz,” Brig.-Gen. Alireza Sabahi Fard, commander of the Iranian Army’s Khatam ol-Anbiya Air Defense Base, was quoted by Iran’s Fars News as saying on Wednesday at a forum in Tehran.
“The enemy knows very well that it should not go for testing Iran’s combat capability, as its first mistake will be its last,” he continued.
On Tuesday, Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz said that the Jewish state is preparing for possible involvement should military confrontation between Washington and Tehran occur.
“It should be taken into account that mistaken calculations by Iran are liable to bring about a shift from the ‘gray zone’ to the ‘red zone’ – that is, a military conflagration,” he was quoted by Reuters as saying on Tuesday.
“We must be prepared for this – and thus the State of Israel continues to devote itself to building up its military might in the event that it will have to respond to escalation scenarios.”
His comments came a day after Tehran said it had breached the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, exceeding the 300 kg. limit on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium.
Speaking to Army Radio later in the day, Katz warned that while the sanctions imposed by Washington might prevent a clash, Israel could act unilaterally to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“Iran has no chance in this war,” he said. “Therefore there is an opportunity there – through the tough economic pressure and the comprehensive sanctions – to prevent war; to achieve the objectives without war.”
But, he added, “Israel will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, even if it has to act alone on that.”
On Wednesday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that the Islamic republic would increase its uranium enrichment level to whatever level it wants beyond the cap of 3.67% set in the JCPOA in 2015, if the remaining signatories of the deal – the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union – do not fulfill their promises.
“Return to logic, the negotiating table, mutual understanding, respect for the law and the UN Security Council’s resolutions – and under these conditions, we all will abide by the JCPOA,” he was quoted by PressTV as saying. “We will remain committed to the deal as long as the other parties live up to their commitments.”
Rouhani’s warning came a day after the diplomatic chiefs of the European Union, France, Germany and Britain urged Iran to reverse its decision and that they were considering their next steps.
“We have been consistent and clear that our commitment to the nuclear deal depends on full compliance by Iran,” according to a joint statement signed by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
“We regret this decision by Iran, which calls into question an essential instrument of nuclear non-proliferation. We urge Iran to reverse this step and to refrain from further measures that undermine the nuclear deal,” the statement said.
Last month, US President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran, including on the office of the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. And in April, it designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organisation.
Hundreds of air strikes on IRGC and Hezbollah targets in war-torn Syria have been blamed on Israel, which has repeatedly warned that it will not allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria, which would allow it to attack Israel.
In late June, the IDF was reported to have stepped up its alert status amid concerns that Iran might try to attack Israel through one of it’s proxies. Israel is surrounded by Iranian proxies: Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, militia groups in Syria and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Between them, there are tens of thousands of rockets that can strike deep into Israel’s home front.
While an attack by Iranian proxies is a major concern for the IDF, it’s Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs that worry Israel’s defense establishment the most.
Source » jp