“We don’t have direct access to U.S. territory, but the Americans have a number of bases and interests in the region. The Americans have more than 20 bases and 100,000 forces in the region, they can all be threatened by Iran. The Americans know it very well,“ said Yahya Rahim Safavi, who added that U.S. forces in the Middle East were “very vulnerable.”
Safavi, a former commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), delivered the tough warning in an interview with the Fars news agency, which is affiliated with the IRGC. He said that in the case of a military strike against Iran by Israel, there is a high probability that the Lebanese Hizballah would react.
“I know [Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah] as a soldier of [Iran’s supreme leader]. We don’t have any limitations...and our long-range missiles can confront Israel effectively. There is no place in Israel that is not within the range of our missiles,“ Safavi said.
He also said that if Israel launched strikes against Iran, in the first two weeks, 1 million Jews would flee from the Jewish state.
However, Major General Safavi said that he believed Iran does not face a “significant military threat” in the current year. He said that the economic situation in the United States and Israel was the reason why those countries wouldn't start a new war in the region. If the United States and Israel did launch a war, Safavi said that its end would not be under their control but in the hands of the Islamic republic.
Safavi also accused Iran’s “enemies” of trying to promote the idea that the country is under the threat of an imminent military attack.
Safavi's comments are consistent with statements made by Khamenei in March, where the supreme leader said that in the face of aggression Iran would retaliate on the same level. Khamenei also said that Iran did not have nuclear weapons and had no intention of producing them.
Safavi, who is said to be very close and loyal to Khamenei, praised the Iranian leader for what he described as his “brilliant” fatwas against nuclear and chemical weapons, in which he said Khamenei had declared weapons of mass destruction "haram," or anti-Islamic.
Safavi has been blacklisted by the United Nations and the United States over his alleged involvement in Iran’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programs.
-- Golnaz Esfandiari