Even before the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 world powers ended in Geneva early Sunday with no deal, an Iranian general lashed out at America Saturday and warned both the U.S. and Israel that they will be attacked.
According to Fars News Agency, the regime’s outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Massoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, said “America’s interests and all of Israel are within the range of the Islamic Republic and there is not the slightest doubt among Iran’s armed forces to confront the American government and the Zionists (Israel).”
Jazayeri said Israel is pulling the strings of Washington and “the American government is one of the most hated and evil governments in the world.”
The general mocked President Obama’s position that the military option remains on the table over Iran’s nuclear development. “If America had the ability and the will for war, it would allow no doubt in attacking Syria. America will soon find out that Iran’s power cannot be ignored.”
The Geneva negotiations ended early Sunday with no deal after three days of high-level talks when France questioned the initial draft and if it went far enough in curbing Iran’s illicit nuclear program. Iran and the 5+1 world powers are to meet again on November 20.
As reported by The Daily Caller on Friday, Iran remained insistent on major relief from sanctions, especially in the banking and oil sectors, as well as an acceptance by world powers of its right to enrich uranium. Iran continued to refuse to give in on a temporary freeze on the construction of its plutonium reactor in Arak, which is due to go live next year and could provide Iran a second path to nuclear weapons. Another sticking point for Iran is the demand to give up its stock of 20 percent enriched uranium, a key step to nuclear weaponization.
Meanwhile, Mohsen Rafiqdoost, a former minister of the Guards and a long-time regime official engaged in buying arms on the black market, also talked of Israel’s destruction in an interview with Basij News. He praised Hassan Tehrani Moghadam, the brain behind Iran’s ballistic program who was assassinated in 2011, for designing missiles through reverse engineering and predicted that achievement will enable Iran to obliterate Israel.
Last week, Iran state television aired part of an hour-long animated documentary showing how the country’s missile attack could destroy Israel.
These threats are underscored by a report in March 2013 of an Iranian site that houses over 380 missile depots and launching pads, providing evidence that Iran has long been planning for a major confrontation with Israel and the West. The report also said regime scientists are working on a nuclear warhead at this site.
“(The satellite images) suggest the possibility that Iran may, in fact, be further along in its nuclear weapons program than is generally assumed,” said David Trachtenberg, who for 30 years served in the national security policy field and who, as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense, played a leadership role in nuclear forces and arms-control policy. “It is clear they have gone to great lengths to bury and protect high-value assets at this site, which also complicates the possibility of direct military action and illustrates the risks of allowing years to pass while hoping diplomacy will work. An accelerating train is harder to slow and takes longer to stop. These images reinforce my concern that Iranian nuclear progress is accelerating.”
“(This) imagery strongly suggests that Iran is working on what we used to call an ‘objective force.’ That is the objective of a deployed force of nuclear weapons on mobile missiles, normally based in deep underground sites for survivability against even nuclear attack, capable of rapid deployment,” said Fritz Ermarth, who served in the CIA and as chairman of the National Intelligence Council.
“This open-source analysis by itself illustrates that Iran is very serious about building survivable facilities for its nuclear enterprise,” said Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and an expert on nuclear strategy and weapons who served on several strategic congressional commissions and in the CIA.
One of the America’s foremost experts on nuclear weapons, who could not be named but who served at the U.S. Defense Nuclear Agency and who inspected more than 200 tunnel structures of Russian nuclear test sites as well as Russian operational facilities and silos, viewed the imagery of Iran’s facility.
“The site is similar to a common approach by several other nuclear-capable countries which have used advanced design in hardening these types of tunnels or garages for a quick deployable system,” he said. “I understand exactly what Iran has at the site … (including) a very important part of the structures … the apparent hardened underground stub tunnels for secure storage of mobile systems which can be quickly moved to launching sites … and it is very scary because its defeat may not be as easy as attacking it with a couple bombers, even if they have nuke weapons. This layout is very scary because it is … ready for the operational weapon systems to be installed, and then they are ready to take on the world.”
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).