This is particularly interesting for some of us, who have felt that Iran has been baiting Israel all along. Perhaps they have grown tired of waiting:
Iran could launch a pre-emptive strike if Israel prepares to attack it, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander told broadcaster Al-Alam on Sunday, a day after his boss warned that conflict was inevitable, the AFP news agency reports. Hajizadeh, who is in charge of Revolutionary Guards missile systems, said: "In circumstances in which they (the Israelis) have prepared everything for an attack, it is possible that we will make a pre-emptive attack."
He added that Iran would deem any Israeli strike to be conducted with US authorization, so "whether the Zionist regime attacks with or without US knowledge, then we will definitely attack US bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan." He warned that Israel "cannot imagine our response -- and it will sustain heavy damage and that will be a prelude to its obliteration."
On Saturday, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said war between Iran and Israel "will eventually happen, but it is not certain where and when."
Jafari, quoted by the ISNA and Fars news agencies, also said such a conflict would lead to the annihilation of Israel. "If they begin (aggression), it will spell their destruction and will be the end of the story," he said.
Tensions have risen significantly in recent weeks, with Israel threatening to unleash air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities. Israel believes Iran's nuclear program to be aimed at developing an atomic weapons capability that would menace its existence. Iran insists that its atomic program is exclusively for peaceful, civilian ends, but it is locked in a deepening stand-off with the UN nuclear watchdog and the UN Security Council over the issue.
A senior Iranian military commander on Sunday said that an Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran could "trigger World War III," repeating threats made over the past few weeks that Tehran will attempt to destroy Israel if the Jewish state launches an attack on Iran either with or without the US.
"If the Zionists really do strike Iran, it would provide a historic opportunity for the Islamic Revolution to wipe [Israel] off the face of the earth," he said, adding that Iran would then "reclaim the lands occupied by Israel for the Palestinians."
Salami then said that an Iranian infantry battalion would be able to "break Israel's back" within a day. "The Regime [Israel] is only 24 kilometers wide in parts," he explained.
Salami said that Iran had gained knowledge in weapons manufacturing, including modern missile technology. The Islamic Republic has missiles capable of destroying enemy bases in the region, he claimed.
Referring to Iran's recent announcements of new military developments, Salami noted that Iran had unveiled its Ra'ad ('Thunder') air defense system during its annual military parade on Friday.