Sunday, November 22, 2009

Iran threats to target Tel Aviv if Israel attacks

Updated on : Sunday, November 22, 2009

TEHRAN: Representative of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini said that if Iran is attacked then it will target Israeli city Tel Aviv.

Iran is to begin large-scale air defence war games aimed at protecting its nuclear facilities from possible attack.

The drill comes as a top clerical official renewed his threat to target "the heart of Tel Aviv" should Israel attack Iran.

The five-day drill will involve Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard and the regular army and will cover 230,000 square miles of central, western and southern Iran, said air force General Ahmad Mighani.

As Iran has pressed forward with its nuclear program, Israel has repeatedly threatened military action to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The US has also not ruled out military action should diplomacy fail to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear activities.

The West suspects Iran aims to use a civilian nuclear program as cover to produce weapons, and Iran has effectively rejected a new UN proposal aimed at easing those concerns.

Tehran denies any intention to make nuclear weapons and says it only wants to generate power.

The defence drill will involve an attack by planes representing a hypothetical enemy.

"Reconnaissance enemy planes will violate our air space and try to disrupt electronic and radar systems, identify sensitive facilities, take photos and ... attack air defense sites," Gen Mighani said. "Our air defence system will confront the intruding planes."

A planned key component of Iran's air defences, an anti-aircraft missile system from Russia, has yet to be delivered.

Gen Mighani criticised Russia, saying the months-long delay in the S-300 missiles was apparently the result of Israeli pressure, not technical issues, as Moscow claims.

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