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Iran Threatens 'Street War' in Tel Aviv

Iran has threatened to start a 'street war' in Tel Aviv - and in the US and Europe - should its nuclear program be attacked.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 11/8/2011, 7:26 PM

Seyed Hossein Naqavi
Seyed Hossein Naqavi
Screen Capture

The head of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said on Tuesday that Iran would start a 'street war' in Tel Aviv if its nuclear program was attacked.

"Israel is not big enough to launch a military strike on Iran, but if it takes such a foolish decision, the Iranian military will fight with the Zionist soldiers in Tel Aviv streets... and will force them out of the Palestinian soil," Seyed Hossein Naqavi said.

Naqavi also warned, should Tehran's nuclear program be attacked, the battlefield won't be in Iran, but "the entirety of Europe and the US."

"Iranian forces will fight with the enemies with maximum might and power all throughout the European and US soil, if Iran comes under attack," he reiterated.

Naqavi also responded to reports Britain might strike Iran's nuclear sites, saying "a look at the history reveals that the British regime has been using threat, intimidation, terror and colonialism all throughout the last 500 years."

"Now a country with such a long record of crimes and colonialist actions should know very well that the Islamic Republic enjoys a high military capability today," he added.

Naqavi's remarks have become a part of Tehran's mantra of threatening counter-strikes as international criticism of its nuclear aspirations continues to mount.

A recent indictment by the United States of two members of Iran's foreign covert action Quds force for allegedly plotting the assassination of the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington has served to fuel efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic.

Also, the International Atomic Energy Agency has released a report asserting that Iran is not only on the verge of being able to build an atomic bomb, but cited western and Israeli intelligence reports Tehran had actively sought nuclear weapons technology.

Tehran's bellicose rhetoric has reached a new zenith, however, amid reports both Britian and Israel were considering independent strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities.

"Iran does not stand alone in the struggle against Israel," Naqavi insisted, "Israel will be destroyed by the allies of the Islamic Republic if she so much as tries to attack us."

However, despite Iran's threats of a 'street war' in Tel Aviv, Tehran's ability to strike Israel directly is limited. While the Islamic Republic does possess a small number of long-range missiles capable of striking Israel, its air force and army would have to move through other countries in which large US and western forces are operating.

Additionally, tensions between Shiite Persian Iran and the predominantly Sunni Arab world - especially Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies - have limited Tehran's strategic latitude. Analysts say Iran would have to strike Israel by proxy, relying on Syria, Hizbullah, and various terror groups like Hamas who are at war with Israel.

Observers note, however, that Iran may not be able to rely on its regional allies to take significant action on its behalf.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is occupied with seven months of unrest and a growing armed resistance to his regime; while Hizbullah has found itself under increasing fire from Lebanon's main street for maintaining its arms and militia's in the name of  'resistance' - which has drawn Beirut into costly wars with Israel.

Even terror groups in Israel that Iran has sought to turn into proxies by funding their operations may prove unreliable. Hamas, a primary Iranian beneficiary, has consistently sought to avoid a serious Israeli incursion into its Gaza stronghold - which analysts say would be the likely result of meaningful action taken on Tehran's behalf.