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Iran threatens attack on Israel

A group of Iranian Navy ships. (Tasnim News Agency/Released)
May 13, 2019

Iran has threatened an attack on Israel if the U.S. makes an offensive move now that it has combat-ready forces in the area.

Iranian Parliament’s Vice-Speaker Ali Motahhari told Iran’s Fars News Agency that the U.S. would not attack Iran due to the retaliatory attacks Iran would launch on Israel.

“The US military forces’ deployment in the Persian Gulf is more of the nature of psychological warfare. They are not ready for a war, especially when Israel is within our range,” Motahhari said on Sunday.

“We need to continue unity and resistance because the US will be forced to change its method after a while,” he added, dismissing the idea of negotiations with the U.S.

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Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace Division commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh doubled down on the threat, saying, “If Americans make a [mistaken] move, we will hit them on the head,” Iran’s PressTV reported.

He further threatened to target a U.S. aircraft carrier, saying, “An aircraft carrier with at least 40 to 50 fighter jets and 6,000 personnel was a serious threat for us in the past, but is now a target and threats have turned into opportunities.”

As a result of threats from Iran, the U.S. deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, four B-52 bombers, a Patriot missile battery, and the USS Arlington to the Middle East over the past week.

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi scoffed at the deployment, calling it “theatrical and useless,” according to Fars.

“Today, speaking of the dispatch of aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf is nothing new and they are attempting to magnify the shadow of war,” he said on Sunday. “Their presence in the region is theatrical and useless.”

“The presence of Americans in the Persian Gulf region has come to an end and they should leave the region and those countries which have pinned hope on such present powers as the Americans should fill this vacuum,” Khanzadi added.

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A Department of Defense official told CBS News last week that the U.S. was tracking “a number of preparations for possible attack” on U.S. land and sea forces. “There is more than one avenue of attack or possible attack that we’re tracking,” the official added.

Although the U.S. has prepared for a conflict, President Trump remains open for talks with Iran.

Trump said of Iranian leaders on Thursday, “I’d like to see them call me.” He later provided Swiss authorities with a direct number for Iran to call him.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi, however, issued a response, saying, “There is no need for a mediator or phone number for Trump to get rid of the hard and critical conditions that he has created for himself and the US.”

The Iranian officials blamed U.S. sanctions impairing their economy, and said they expected newer, harsher sanctions to come – something they say the U.S. must resolve.