Iran plans to strike back if attacked by targeting Israel nuclear facilities
[ Page 550 ]
Referring to Israel, Iran’s Defence Minister Mustafa Mohammad Najjar noted that ‘The policy of the Islamic republic of Iran is completely defensive, but if we are attacked, the answer of the armed forces will be swift, firm and destructive’.79 Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, warned of a ‘crushing response if its nuclear and military facilities were attacked by the U.S. or Israel ... Israel will suffer greatly. It’s a very small country within our range.’80 The deputy commander of Iran’s air force, Gen. Mohammad Alavi, noted that ‘. . . We have drawn up a plan to strike back at Israel with our bombers if this regime possibly makes a silly mistake’.81 Ahmad Khatami, an authoritative Iranian cleric, declared that ‘Israel would face dire consequences if it makes the slightest aggression against Iran. They must fear the day (Iran’s) 2,000-km range missiles land in the heart of Tel Aviv.’ And ‘we have the power for a mighty response’.82
An Iranian adviser to the IRGC has been more specific: ‘Iran will respond to a U.S. attack with a military strike against Israel’s main nuclear facility. The Iranian retaliation against Israeli targets also would focus on Haifa, which houses several chemical factories and oil refineries, and Zakhariya, where an Israeli missile base is located.’83 Unsubstantiated reports maintain that since early summer 2007 Shahab-3 missiles have been targeted at Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility and American military sites in the Persian Gulf and Iraq.84
Israel would face the same limitations and uncertainties that exist for the United States in any strike on Iran's nuclear capabilities, with the added risks of having far less capacity than the U.S. military and the risks of being abandoned by its fragile alliances while setting off a regional war.