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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran warns it would destroy Israel, 32 U.S. bases if attacked

RIA Novosti

12/07/2008 18:16 TEHRAN, July 12 (RIA Novosti) - Iran's armed forces would launch devastating strikes against Israel and 32 American bases in the Mideast if these countries were to attack, a senior military official said on Saturday.

Iran carried out a series of missile tests this week in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, prompting the United States to issue a warning that it would defend Israel in the event of an Iranian attack. Israel's Air Force last month conducted drills seen as a rehearsal for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

If the U.S. and Israel were to attack Iran, "before the dust from these attacks settles on the ground, our armed forces will strike the very heart of Israel and 32 U.S. military bases in the region," the Iranian Supreme Leader's representative in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Mujtaba Zolnur, said.

"If our enemies take such a misguided step and attack Iran, our armed forces will give a devastating response," he was quoted by the Fars news agency as saying.

Iran test-fired on Friday several missiles with a range of 350 kilometers (217 miles). The tests came on the fourth day of the Great Prophet III military maneuvers involving the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) naval and air units.

Iranian state media said earlier this week that the IRGC had successfully test-fired various classes of missiles including shore-to-sea, surface-to-surface and sea-to-air missiles. The Shahab-3 missile, launched on Wednesday, has a range of 2,000 km (1,240 miles) and would enable Iran to strike at Israel, as well as U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf region.

The exercises provoked harsh criticism from the West, particularly the U.S., which demanded that Tehran cease work to develop ballistic missiles as potential vehicles for the delivery of nuclear weapons.

Iran is currently under three sets of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions for defying demands to halt uranium enrichment, which it says it needs purely for electricity generation. The U.S. and other Western states have claimed that the program is geared toward the creation of nuclear weapons.

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