Iran vows to destroy a U.S. military base if President Donald Trump “makes a mistake.” Iran can burn the U.S. Navy base to the ground and hit Israel’s Tel Aviv with nukes in only “seven minutes,” a senior Iranian security MP warned.
The threats come as the war of words between Washington and Tehran intensifies in the aftermath of the new anti-Iranian sanctions imposed by the Trump administration following Iran’s missile test last week.
If Iran is attacked, it will “raze to ground” the U.S. Navy base in Bahrain and Israel, its traditional enemy, according to the Iranian MP. Tehran is lashing out at Washington in retaliation for the new round of sanctions targeting two dozen people in Iran.
“The US Army’s [sic] Fifth Fleet has occupied a part of Bahrain, and the enemy’s farthest military base is in the Indian Ocean, but these points are all within the range of Iran’s missile systems and they will be razed to the ground if the enemy makes a mistake,” warned Mojtaba Zonour, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, as reported by FARS.
Zonour also vowed to destroy Israel in the eventof war, as Iranian missiles need “only seven minutes” to hit Tel Aviv, the country’s capital. The threats from Zonour, a former major figure in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, come less than 24 hours after the Trump administration slapped the new sanctions on Iran.
Iran and U.S. engage in risky exchange of hostile gestures
With Trump, who was an outspoken critic of Iran during his presidential campaign, in the White House as commander-in-chief, Tehran is worried that he started an anti-Iranian campaign when he included Iran on the list of Muslim-majority countries whose citizens are temporarily barred from entering the U.S.
Last week’s missile test was an apparent response to Trump’s controversial immigration order. But the U.S. President didn’t leave it unnoticed, as he immediately slapped the nuclear-capable nation with new sanctions targeting 25 Iranian individuals and entities allegedly involved in the ballistic missile development.
In what is clearly a heated war of words and a risky exchange of hostile gestures between the U.S. and Iran, Washington says the recent medium-range missile test violated a United Nations Security Council resolution banning missiles that could carry nukes. Tehran, meanwhile, dismisses the claim and says the test didn’t breach the 2015 U.N. resolution.
Washington: Iran is the “No. 1 terrorist state”
After the headline-making Iranian missile test, Trump warned the Islamic nation to not “play with fire” and said it had been “put on notice” by the White House.
Tehran was quick to respond to Trump’s comment, with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif saying his country was “unmoved by threats” from the U.S. In fact, Washington’s warnings had little effect on Iran, as the nuclear-capable country conducted military drills in Semnan Province the following day and tested its advanced radar and missile capabilities on Saturday.
The new moves by Iran prompted a furious response from the U.S. President, who called the Islamic nation the “number one terrorist state” in his Sunday interview with FOX News. Trump’s sentiments were shortly echoed by U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
Trump also reiterated his criticism of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran but stopped short of vowing to actually dismantle it. During his heated presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly pledged to scrap the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated by 44th U.S. President Barack Obama in the P5+1 format (five permanent members of the U.N. Security council — the U.S., U.K., Russia, France and China — plus Germany).
While addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2016, Trump called the Iranian nuclear deal “very stupid” and said his number one priority was to “dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran,” which lifted the crippling economic sanctions in exchange for halting the Iran’s nuclear program and preventing the Islamic nation from creating a nuclear weapon. It should worry Iran that Trump doesn’t make empty promises, if the immigration order is any indication of that.
Iran warns of “roaring missiles” coming down on the U.S.
The missile tests from Tehran came in response to Trump putting Iran on the list of countries that could be harmful to U.S. interests by barring Iranians from entering the U.S. The immigration order reads that the seven countries on the list are either destroyed by jihadist violence or are run by jihadists.
It’s believed that the Trump administration included Iran on the list for the latter reason. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif responded to his country being included on the so-called Muslim ban list by calling it “a shameful act.”
And Iran apparently isn’t going to put up with the new sanctions, as chief of the Iranian Guard’s airspace division warned the Americans against making “a mistake” or risking getting Iranian “roaring missiles” to “come down on them.”
“If the enemy makes a mistake, our roaring missiles will come down on them,” Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh said in response to the heated anti-Iranian campaign from the Trump administration.
He added that the U.S. response to Iran’s missile tests was “a pretext to show their animosity towards us; we are making round-the-clock efforts to defend our country’s security.”
How likely is an Iran vs. U.S. war?
While experts argue whether it’s in Trump’s intentions to walk away from the Iranian nuclear deal or provoke Tehran into walking away from it, House Speaker Paul Ryan thinks the agreement will most likely remain in place.
“I don’t think you’re going to go back and reconstitute the multilateral sanctions that were put in place,” Ryan said on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
With or without the Iranian nuclear deal in place, it seems that relations between Washington and Tehran have just hit their lowest point. And given the Iran government’s eagerness to protect its interests at all cost, an armed confrontation between the U.S. and Iran — most likely involving Israel and other key regional players — is not so unlikely anymore.