Iran to unleash 'God’s vengeance' against potential air strike

Satellite photograph of suspected uranium-enrichment facility near Qom (Reuters / DigitalGlobe / Handout)
Iran has commenced a massive training exercise to protect its “nuclear centers” from potential air strikes. The deputy military chief says pre-emptive strikes will be launched if Iran feels its national interests are under threat, Reuters reports.

­The four-day drill will unite missile defense systems, radars and interceptor planes in southern Iran.

The Iranian operation codenamed “Sarollah,” which translates as God’s Vengeance, is aimed at improving cooperation between Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard and its regular army. It will cover a total area of 190,000 square kilometers and reinforce “the integrated abilities of the country's anti-air defenses," said a statement from Iran’s missile defense operations.

"Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran's national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions," Mohammad Hejazi told Fars news agency.

The news comes on the heels of mounting speculation that Israel may attempt to derail Iran’s nuclear program by attacking its nuclear processing facilities. Israel has repeatedly claimed that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, which Tehran has consistently denied.

­US, Israel disunited over strike on Iran

­Israeli-US relations are boiling over America’s unwillingness to attack Iran. Which means Israel faces a daunting task in taking out Iran’s nuclear sites all alone: not an easy walk by any measure.

US Defense experts believe that up to a hundred planes may be needed to execute the strike on at least four major targets inside Iranian territory.

“All the pundits who talk about ‘Oh, yeah, bomb Iran,’- it ain’t going to be that easy,” Lt. General David A. Deptula told The New York Times. Deptula retired last year as the Air Force’s top intelligence official and was the architect of the US air campaigns in 2001 in Afghanistan and in the 1991 Gulf War.

It is not clear if Israel possesses the necessary air capability or the sufficiently advanced bunker-buster bombs to penetrate the 10-meter concrete shells and mountain rock that encase Iranian nuclear facilities.

China has spoken against Israeli plans to assault Iran. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said “Bringing strikes on Iran will escalate the stand-off and lead to considerable convulsions through the world.”

Commenting the developments in the Middle East, Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said on Monday that “If the situation develops under a negative scenario in Syria, if a strike is delivered on Iran, if Libya disintegrates, and the situation there is unstable, if it becomes clear that the talks between Israel and Palestine are in a dead end, it is hard to predict what impact it might have on the moods in the Arab world.”

Despite the escalating rhetoric and demonstrations of strength in the region, international powers have called for a diplomatic solution. Iran has said it is ready to resume high-level talks on the issue, and inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency are currently in Tehran to inspect the country’s nuclear program.

Despite the escalating rhetoric and demonstrations of strength in the region, international powers have called for a diplomatic solution. Iran has said it is ready to resume high-level talks on the issue, and inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency are currently in Tehran to inspect the country’s nuclear program.