Tuesday, September 3, 2013


August 31, 2013TEHRAN - Israel will face retaliation if the United States launches a military strike against Syria, a senior Iranian military official warned, Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency reported Saturday. “Israel will be hit by retaliatory attacks if the United States launches an offensive on Syria since it [the Jewish state] is the first instigator in attacking [Syria],” Iranian Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi said. Iran staunchly backs the regime in Damascus and is Hezbollah’s leading supporter in the region. Firouzabadi accused Israel of spearheading efforts to drag Washington into a war with the government in Damascus. The U.S. has stepped up its war rhetoric against Damascus after accusing President Bashar Assad’s regime of using chemical weapons earlier this month against opposition strongholds outside Damascus. The Syrian government has strongly denied the accusations but vowed to counter any act of aggression against the country. The Iranian military’s top brass also accused Washington of siding with Al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria, warning of consequences in case of a U.S. strike against the war-torn country. “The U.S., which has invaded countries in the region under the big lie of battling Al-Qaeda following the September 11 [2001 attacks], is now fighting in favor of Al-Qaeda in Syria,” the Iranian general said. Firouzabadi also warned the U.S. war rhetoric could bring about massive problems for other powers. “Regional countries backing this cruel war will suffer serious losses,” he said. –Al Bawaba
The beginning of the end? The Iranian leadership’s latest remarks indicate that Tel Aviv would be the first casualty in this conflict, as a target of the response to any American led strike on Syria. Afterwards, Iranian leaders would instigate as much conflict as possible by targeting the Gulf and the whole region. According to Hussein Sheikholeslam, the director general of the Iranian parliament’s International Affairs bureau and a senior Iranian lawmaker, the United States would not dare attack Syria, but if it does, “the Zionist regime will be the first victim.” On Monday,  
Sheikholeslam was quoted on Iran’s state-run Fars News Agency saying: “No military attack will be waged against Syria… Yet, if such an incident takes place, which is impossible, the Zionist regime will be the first victim of a military attack on Syria.” Iranian officials have also warned other Arab states and regional countries of the negative repercussion that they will encounter if they choose to join the United States. Mohammad Esmayeeli, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, cautioned other Arab countries in the region against allying with the west, claiming that Washington is not ready for a new military operation. Esmayeeli stated, “the U.S, as well as the western and Arab states and certain regional countries are beating on the drums of war, but they should know that this is not to their benefit.” More fundamentally, Iranian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Abbas Araghchi solidified Iran’s stance under Hassan Rowhani’s presidency by emphasizing that Iran is resolved and determined to defend Syria and Assad’s apparatuses. Araghchi stated in a news conference in Tehran: “We want to strongly warn against any military attack in Syria. There will definitely be perilous consequences for the region,” adding, “these complications and consequences will not be restricted to Syria. It will engulf the whole region.” –Al Arabiya

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