Senior parliamentary officials in Tehran threatened on Saturday that Iran would provide a “crushing response” if the United States attacked it.
A report in the Fars news agency said the lawmakers slammed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for “beating on the drums of war against Iran”. They added that Tehran would target all the 32 American military bases in the region and turn them into a graveyard for American soldiers, if it comes under attack.
“(President Barack) Obama knows better than anyone that the U.S. is not in such a condition that it can launch a military attack against any country,” a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Mohammad Esmayeel Kosari, told Fars.
“Yet, in case of a U.S. military attack against Iran, all the U.S. military bases in the regional countries will be turned into slaughterhouse of the American forces,” he threatened.
Kosari described the threats of war against Iran as a political bluffing, and in sarcastic remarks said that if the U.S. was able to launch war against any country, it would have attacked Syria instead of changing its decision after declaring war on the Muslim nation.
While the report did not specify to which threats the lawmakers were responding, Kerry said on Thursday that the military option was still on the table if Iran fails to live up to its part of the nuclear agreement reached with it in November.
If Iran does not execute the commitments it made with Western powers as part of the deal, “the military option of the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do,” Kerry told Al Arabiya.
“It wouldn’t be a wise choice for Iran. We are convinced that we are on the right track because clearly the world would rather see us settle this peaceful rather than have a military confrontation,” he said.
Hours after Kerry’s comments, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani issued a threat to Israel against attacking his country.
"Israel knows very well what the response would be. Israel knows well our regional capability. When it comes to practice, the Israelis cannot do that. If they do such a crazy thing, our response will make them rue the day,” he threatened.
The six-month interim agreement which was reached between Iran and six world powers went into effect this week. The United States has already formally lifted select sanctions on Iran, claiming Iran is taking step to curb back its nuclear program.
As part of the deal, Iran agreed to halt parts of its nuclear program in exchange for relief in some of the sanctions. Iran is expected to receive the first $550 million installment of a total of $4.2 billion in previously blocked overseas funds on or about February 1.
On Wednesday, Iran’s foreign minister attacked the United States for distorting the terms of the agreement.
Speaking to CNN, Mohammad Javad Zarif insisted that the Obama administration was mischaracterizing the concessions by Iran in the six-month nuclear deal and stressed that his country never agreed to dismantle any part of its nuclear program in the interim deal.