Iran may launch pre-emptive strike on Israel, conflict could grow into WWIII

An Israeli missile is launched from the Iron Dome missile system in the city of Ashdod. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

An Iranian military official has warned that military conflict between Iran and Israel could “turn into World War III.” He added that if Israel “is putting the final touches on attacking Iran,” a preemptive strike against Tel Aviv would ensue.

Israel “cannot imagine” the force of Iran’s response if Tel Aviv attacks it, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told Iran’s Arabic-language television network. “It will sustain heavy damage and that will be a prelude to its obliteration,” he said.

Hajizadeh added that Iran does not see this happening at the moment because he does not believe that Israel will conduct an attack without its strongest ally – the United States.

If America does decide to back an Israeli plan to strike Iran, Hejizadeh insists Tehran will retaliate against both Tel Aviv and Washington.

“Tehran will definitely attack US bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan…there will be no neutral country in the region,” Hajizadeh said. “To us, these bases are equal to US soil.”

The statement comes after the head of the Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said that a war between Iran and Israel “will eventually happen.” Jafari did not speculate on a possible date or location of the war.

“If they begin [aggression], it will spell their destruction and will be the end of the story,”Jafari told local news agencies.

Jafari’s deputy backed up his statements, telling Fars news agency that Iran will not start a war with Israel, but will respond to provocation.

“Iran’s defensive strategy is based on the assumption that we will engage in a war, a massive battle against a global coalition led by the US,” Deputy Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Brig.-Gen. Hossein Salami said.

“If the Zionists act against Iran, it will be a historic opportunity for the Islamic Revolution to wipe them off the world’s geographic history,” he continued.

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