Iran warns missiles can hit Israel

A senior Iranian military official has said Israel and the United States will not dare attack Iran since its missiles have the capability to hit ''anywhere'' in Israel.

    Iran has been developing its ballistic missile capability

    Iranian officials have made a point of highlighting the

    Islamic state's military capabilities in recent weeks in

    response to some media reports that Israeli or US warplanes

    could launch air strikes to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities.

    Iran last week said it carried out a successful test-firing

    of an upgraded version of its Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic

    missile. Military experts said the unmodified Shahab-3 was

    already capable of striking Israel or US bases in the Gulf.

    "The entire Zionist territory, including its nuclear

    facilities and atomic arsenal, are currently within range of

    Iran's advanced missiles," the ISNA students' news agency quoted

    Yad Allah Javani, head of the Revolutionary Guards political

    bureau, as saying on Sunday.

    "Therefore, neither the Zionist regime nor America will

    carry out its threats against Iran", he said.

    Israeli missile system

    An attack on Iran "could only be carried out by angry or

    stupid people. For that reason, officials of the Islamic

    Republic must always be prepared to counter possible military

    threats", Javani said.

    US and Israeli officials accuse Iran of developing nuclear

    weapons, a charge Iran denies.

    "The entire Zionist territory, including its nuclear

    facilities and atomic arsenal, are currently within range of

    Iran's advanced missiles"

    Yad Allah Javani,
    Iranian official

    Israel's Arrow missile defence system, designed to counter missiles

    such as the Shahab-3, passed its first live test in July

    by downing a Scud missile off the coast of California.

    Israeli officials say they plan further tests in the near

    future against "threats" which more closely resemble the Shahab-3.

    "Such statements by Iran only serve to demonstrate the need

    for Israel to maintain and further develop defensive systems

    such as the Arrow II," a senior Israeli defence source said

    on Sunday.

    Sabre-rattling

    "It appears that Iran is rattling its sabre for fear of a

    pre-emptive strike by Israel or the United States - however

    grounded in fact such fears are or are not," the source said.

    In a military operation condemned by the international community, Israeli warplanes destroyed the Osirak nuclear

    reactor in Iraq in 1981.

    Israeli PM Ariel Sharon says Iran
    is Israel's greatest threat

    But many diplomats and defence experts say air strikes

    against Iran's nuclear plants are unlikely to disable Tehran's

    nuclear capability, much of which has been built underground,

    and could prompt a swift military reaction from Iran.

    Since its 1979 Islamic revolution Iran has refused to

    recognise Israel's right to exist and allied itself to the

    Palestinian cause.

    Its political opposition to Israel spilled over to

    the Olympic Games in Athens this week when an Iranian judo medal

    favourite withdrew rather than fight an Israeli he was scheduled

    against.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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