Iran could launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel if it was sure the Jewish state was preparing to attack it, a senior commander of its elite Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Sunday.In the Arabic reports, Hajizadeh says that Iran considers US bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan to be US soil: "We definitely will target U.S. bases because we see these as part of U.S. territory and not Bahraini or Afghan territories."
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, made the comments to Iran's state-run Arabic language Al-Alam television.
"Iran will not start any war but it could launch a pre-emptive attack if it was sure that the enemies are putting the final touches to attack it," Al-Alam said, paraphrasing the military commander.
Hajizadeh said any attack on Iranian soil could trigger "World War Three".
"We can not imagine the Zionist regime starting a war without America's support. Therefore, in case of a war, we will get into a war with both of them and we will certainly get into a conflict with American bases," he said.
"In that case, unpredictable and unmanageable things would happen and it could turn into a World War Three."
"The Zionist entity is militarily incapable of confronting Iran ... the circumstances of the region do not enable it to wage war tomorrow or even in the near future," Hajizadeh said.
"Our response will exceed their expectations," he said. "Their assessment of our missile capabilities is wrong. Our response will not only be missiles."
He also said that if Iran doesn't benefit from the Strait of Hormuz, then they will ensure that nobody benefits from it.
In related news, Le Monde reports:
According to informed sources, [Iran and Syria have a] mutual defense agreement signed in 2006 and strengthened by a secret additional protocol in 2008: Damascus is committed to open a second front in the event of an Israeli attack against Iran, in exchange for "unlimited" support by Tehran for Bashar al-Assad that he remains in power.
(h/t Mohammed the Teddy Bear, Yoel)