Iran could strike U.S. bases if Israel attacks: Nasrallah


JNN 06 Sept 2012 Beirut : Iran could hit U.S. bases in the Middle East in response to any Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities even if U.S. forces played no role in the attack, Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Monday.

“A decision has been taken to respond, and the response will be very great,” Nasrallah said in an interview with the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen television network, Reuters reported.

“The response will not be just inside the Israeli entity — American bases in the whole region could be Iranian targets,” he said, citing information he said was from Iranian officials. “If Israel targets Iran, America bears responsibility.”

Nasrallah stated that there are divisions in Israel over whether to attack Iran. “Personally I do not expect the Israeli enemy — at least in the coming months or foreseeable future — (to launch) an attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added.

The fragile global economy would be weakened further by any sharp rise in crude oil prices stemming from conflict in the Persian Gulf and likely Israeli casualties in any war with Iran, he noted.

The U.S., Israel, and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program.

“(Israeli Prime Minster Binyamin) Netanyahu and (Defense Minister Ehud) Barak inflate the benefit and play down the cost,” he said, referring to Barak’s estimates that Israel could suffer up to 500 fatalities in any assault launched against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

War with Iran would be more deadly, Nasrallah stated. “We don’t know what will happen in the region.”

He repeated a warning he made last month that Hezbollah could cause widespread destruction if it came into conflict with Israel again, but denied that the Islamic resistance movement would ever use chemical weapons.

“We do not have chemical weapons, and we will not use chemical weapons,” Nasrallah said. “The use of chemical weapons is forbidden — for us that is absolute.”

Addressing Israel, Nasrallah said, “I do not need chemical weapons — regardless of the religious or practical position.” He added, “You have factories, and you have bases, and compounds, and I have rockets.”

Israel has several “weak points” which can be targeted, including “economic, industrial, electrical, chemical and nuclear” sites, the Hezbollah leader said.

Even if Israel launched a first strike attack on Lebanon, destroying a large part of Hezbollah’s missile arsenal, the resistance group would retain the capacity to hit back with deadly force, he added.

Two weeks ago, Nasrallah said Hezbollah could kill tens of thousands of Israelis by hitting targets with what he described as precision-guided missiles.

“Hitting these targets with a small number of rockets will turn… the lives of hundreds of thousands of Zionists to real hell,” he said at the time.

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