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Iran threatens attacks on U.S. bases in event of war

By Ali Akbar Dareini

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:53 a.m. HST, Sep 24, 2012

TEHRAN, Iran » A senior commander in Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard warned that Iran will target U.S. bases in the region in the event of war with Israel, raising the prospect of a broader conflict that would force other countries to get involved, Iranian state television reported.

The comments by Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who heads the Guard's aerospace division, came amid tension over Iran's nuclear program and Israel's suggestion that it might unilaterally strike Iranian nuclear facilities to scuttle what the United States and its allies believe are efforts to build a bomb. Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Hajizadeh said no Israeli attack can happen without the support of its most important ally, the United States, making all U.S. military bases a legitimate target.

"For this reason, we will enter a confrontation with both parties and will definitely be at war with American bases should a war break out," Hajizadeh said in remarks that were posted on the website of Iran's state Al-Alam TV. U.S. facilities in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan would be targeted, he said.

"There will be no neutral country in the region," Hajizadeh said. "To us, these bases are equal to U.S. soil."

The U.S. Fifth fleet is based in Bahrain and the U.S. has a heavy military presence in Afghanistan.

The Iranian warning appears an attempt to reinforce the potential wider consequences of an attack by Israel. The message is not only intended for Washington, but to its Gulf Arab allies that are fearful of a regional conflict that could disrupt oil shipment and cripple business hubs in places such as Dubai and Qatar's capital Doha.

It also comes during a major show of naval power in the Gulf by U.S.-led forces taking part in military exercises, including mine-sweeping drills. The U.S. Navy claims the maneuvers are not directly aimed at Iran, but the West and its regional allies have made clear they would react against attempts by Tehran to carry out threats to try to close critical Gulf oil shipping lanes in retaliation for tighter sanctions.

Despite Israeli hints of a military strike, Iran's military commanders believe Israel is unlikely to take unilateral action against Iran. The Guard's top commander, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, said last week that Iran believes the United States won't attack Iran because its military bases in the Middle East are within the range of Iran's missiles.

Iran has also warned that oil shipments through the strategic Strait of Hormuz will be in jeopardy if a war breaks out between Iran and the United States. Iranian officials had previously threatened to close the waterway, the route for a fifth of the world's oil, if there is war.

Israel believes that any attack on Iran would likely unleash retaliation in the form of Iranian missiles as well as rocket attacks by Iranian proxies Hezbollah and Hamas on its northern and southern borders.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says international diplomatic efforts and economic sanctions against Iran have failed to deter its nuclear ambitions, and he has urged President Barack Obama to declare "red lines" that would trigger an American attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, coupling his appeals with veiled threats of an Israeli attack.

Obama has rejected these calls, saying diplomacy and U.S.-led sanctions must be given more time and that Iran will never be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons. American officials have pressed Israel not to attack Iran unilaterally, a move that could set off regional mayhem just ahead of the November election.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is currently in New York to attend the annual U.N. General Assembly and could seek to use his speech and meetings later this week to highlight the possible risks — including sharply higher oil prices — if military action is taken.

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Anonymous wrote:
Israel is so very aggressive. They are armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. They worry me far more than Iran.
on September 23,2012 | 08:26AM
mbrgss wrote:
what are you taking about? Israel dosen't what to kill americans, unlike Iran!
on September 23,2012 | 09:20AM
kaiakea wrote:
Thy may want to kill Americans, but why? Is it possible they are tired of the U.S. and other powers meddling in thier internal affairs, like we did in 1953, and continuing? They may be a terrorist nation in our eyes, but we went in there and overthrew a legitimately elected government and installed our puppet the Shah, not one known for his tolerance and generosity to his people. A tough call all the way round, seems to me, no easy answers.
on September 23,2012 | 11:38AM
marc_collins wrote:
You would only be worried about nuclear weapons if they were to be used on Americans?
on September 23,2012 | 08:11PM
Akhmed_PKC wrote:
well, stock up on supplies because after the election you know it's coming...
on September 23,2012 | 09:14AM
localguy wrote:
Anonymous, perhaps if you had been in Israel's position when Germany tried to wipe all Jews off the face of the earth, had you been there back in the day Egypt, Syria and other countries tried to wipe them out you would understand. I have visited Israel, their motto against this aggression is "Never Again." Exactly why their military is second to none in the region and why no other country there will go toe to toe with them, starting a battle they cannot win.
on September 23,2012 | 09:18AM
HollyJHuber wrote:
Will our "intelligent" species ever evolve beyond senseless violence?
on September 23,2012 | 09:25AM
juke wrote:
on September 23,2012 | 11:22AM
SteveToo wrote:
on September 23,2012 | 09:16PM
false wrote:
war with Iran is inevitable unless Iran gives up its nuclear program in a clearly verifiable way. Iran will not do this. Therefore, war is inevitable. The problem is insoluble. Israel won't stay on the leash much longer. The world will be a very messy place, possibly within months. And Hawaii won't be immune. Travel to the islands will fall off big time. People will be laid off. Terror attacks on the mainland should probably be expected. It might be time to start stocking up on toilet paper, batteries, candles and LED lamps, and other stuff that requires ships that require fuel to get here.
on September 23,2012 | 10:10AM
NuuanuMama wrote:
It is time that the U.S. allow (now grown cocky little brother) Isreal to stand and face the world on their own, unable to say "my big brother U.S. is gonna beat you up" and I'm going to provoke you so much that it FORCES my big brother (the U.S) to beat you up. The last thing the U.S. needs is another stupid war.
on September 23,2012 | 10:26AM
juke wrote:
you tell that to god if you believe in him
on September 23,2012 | 11:23AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Funny how they now state that "US interests are US soil". That's NOT what they said about the US embassy back in 1978.
on September 23,2012 | 10:27AM
lajekal wrote:
Iran is threatening to attack and kill Americans. What will America do if this happens? Shock and Awe!
on September 23,2012 | 10:34AM
9ronboz wrote:
Obama will apologize
on September 23,2012 | 12:00PM
cojef wrote:
Neville Chamberlain tried appeasing the Nazis in the early 40's which resulted in WWII. Saber rattlings made by Iran only intensify the reason to prepare for a major conflagration to occur. This is the first time the US has been threaten by a lesser nation. Our reactions will determine when the Israelis will begin their move to bomb the nuclear enrichment facilities in Iran. Six months is too long as all intelligence is on hand, and it's matter when it will occur. That means anytime soon, which coincides when the Mayan Calendar ends, 12/21/2012. Hope not.
on September 23,2012 | 12:56PM
false wrote:
if war breaks out, the U.S. will be forced to go all-in with Israel. There will be no halfway with this one. Halfway would mean that we allow militant Islam to survive to spread terror around the world on a scale we don't want to contemplate. It is ironic that Israel would be the catalyst for a war in which a final solution--bombing Iran and probably a few other countries back to the Stone Age--would be the only acceptable outcome. Unfortunately, I don't see a scenario in which Israel would be able to take out Iran's nuclear facilities--which are widely disbursed and heavily fortified--without incurring an all-out response from Iran and its surrogates. Things would escalate to the point of decimation.
on September 23,2012 | 12:22PM
SteveToo wrote:
I agree this "bombing Iran and probably a few other countries back to the Stone Age-" has to be done, but....It will most likely take Isreal out as well from the fall out.
on September 23,2012 | 09:19PM
false wrote:
As a subscriber, I'm really getting tired of my posts being sent to the censors instead of being posted--especially when I see some of the bile that seems to pass through unaffected.
on September 23,2012 | 12:24PM
SteveToo wrote:
Stay away from "those" 3 and 4 letter words. LOL.. Been there got that done too.
on September 23,2012 | 09:20PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
Israel is our 51rst state and $353.00 per person is sent by all residents of the US to Israel as foreign aide, Its amazing that 5.2 million Jews in the US control our foreign policy. In my book Israel is a terrorist state aided with US weaponry. Its time that everyone makes peace INCLUDING Israel!
on September 23,2012 | 01:30PM
SteveToo wrote:
Time to move back to Rapanui then and leave this terrible nation.
on September 23,2012 | 09:21PM
akuman808 wrote:
Gen Hajizadeh surely knows that the amount of tomahawk missles already armed, programed and ready to strkie Iran is set. The U.S. airpower will destroy the Iran air force and their land military bases swifly and precisely. Go ahead General, make our day!
on September 23,2012 | 01:45PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Iran would have trouble dealing with Israeli forces, it would be an act of madness to attack US bases.
on September 23,2012 | 02:02PM
false wrote:
it's after the bombs stop falling that the trouble would begin...
on September 23,2012 | 02:37PM
Papakolea wrote:
Iran's economy is experiencing roughly 24% inflation per year. A lot of that is being blamed on the US-led economic sanctions. Iran is being backed into a corner where they will either admit defeat and end their nuclear program, or they will lash out in kamikazi-like fashion.
on September 23,2012 | 03:04PM
HIBF4711 wrote:
Let us hope we keep our strategic nuclear bombers on standby...knew they would be needed someday!
on September 23,2012 | 04:28PM
Waimanalodayz1 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on September 23,2012 | 04:54PM
nomakeshame wrote:
Our strategic bombers were put in standown during the first Bush administration, more so when the Cold War with the Soviet Union ended. Obama didn't become president until 2008, the military drawdown began in 1989, with the closing of many U.S. military bases worldwide. And the newer bombers, yeah the same ones costing trillions of dollars to build that so many are crying "a waste of money" about, the public didn't want them, so its only natural to blame your mistake on someone else. And the ones we have now, no they are not grounded, they are and always been on alert status, but nice try anyways.
on September 23,2012 | 06:24PM
SteveToo wrote:
It's time to nuke those fools. No time to play around w/them.
on September 23,2012 | 06:24PM
lajekal wrote:
Like "Chair"man Clint Eastwood said: "Go ahead, make my day!" Mitt should appoint Dirty Harry Secretary of Defense!
on September 23,2012 | 09:27PM
808warriorfan wrote:
Bring 'em on...Good reason to get rid of Iran...
on September 23,2012 | 11:05PM
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