July 3, 2012
Tags: Iran, Israel
Iran threatens Israel as Europe began enforcing an oil embargo and harsh new sanctions. Tehran announced on Sunday that any attack on Iran by Israel would be answered: “If they take any action, they will give us an excuse to wipe them off the face of the earth,” said General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Guards’ airborne division, according to the Iran News Agency. (IRNA)
Officials in Washington, D.C. are saying the new European Union oil embargo and harsh new sanctions might just be enough to force Tehran to give ground at the upcoming round of nuclear talks, scheduled for this week in Istanbul, Turkey.
Revolutionary Guards General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said there will be three days of missile testing this week in Iran. These exercises should be seen as a warning, “that the Islamic Republic of Iran is resolute in standing up to all the bullying, and will respond to any possible evil decisively and strongly. Our missile tests will target mock-ups of air bases in the region. U.S. bases are within the range of our missiles and weapons, and therefore they certainly will not cooperate with the regime (Israel),” Hajizadeh told IRNA.
Iran on numerous occasions unnerved the world oil markets by threatening reprisals if they were attacked or its trade disrupted.
Threats against the Jewish state (Israel) echoed the words spoken by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying Israel “must be wiped off the page of time.” This has been a phrase often translated; “wiped off the map” and quoted by Israel to show that allowing Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons would be a threat to its very existence.
The new European Union sanctions come with stronger new measures imposed by Washington this year on other countries doing business with Iran. The United States welcomes the E.U.’s sanctions as an “essential part” of diplomatic efforts “to seek a peaceful resolution that addresses the international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.” Jay Carney, White House spokesman, said he hoped the new sanctions will force Tehran to make some concessions in the nuclear talks with the six world powers of the United Nations later this week. “Iran has an opportunity to pursue substantive negotiations, beginning with expert level talks this week in Istanbul, and must take concrete steps toward a comprehensive resolution of the international community’s concerns with Iran’s nuclear activities,” Carney said in his statement.
Tehran counters with, “We are implementing programs to counter sanctions and we will confront these malicious policies,” Mehr news agency quoted Iranian central bank governor Mahmoud Bahmani as saying.
Bahmani has struggled to prevent a plunge in the value of the rial currency and steadily rising inflation as the sanctions have taken effect. He said the effects of the sanctions were tough but that Iran had built up $150 billion in foreign reserves to protect its economy.