Monday, June 11, 2007

Iran threatens a 'missile blitz' against Gulf states if attacked

"Iran threatened Monday to launch a "missile blitz" against Persian Gulf states that would drag the entire Middle East into a war, should the United States strike its nuclear facilities.

"The objective will be to stun the American missile defense system using dozens if not hundreds of missiles that will be launched simultaneously at certain targets," Iran's former defense minister, Admiral Ali Shamkhani, told the U.S. journal Defense News.

Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman all host key U.S. and British military bases, and Shamkhani's comments were rare for a senior Iranian official in that they were directed at Gulf states and not Israel.

Shamkhani directed his comments primarily at those states that cooperate with the U.S., adding that the missiles would be fired not only at the American bases but also at strategic facilities such as oil refineries and power stations.

To date, it was widely believed that the brunt of any Iranian retaliation for an attack on its nuclear facilities would be directed at Israel. Experts who have been closely following developments in Iran believe, however, that an Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia is not entirely out of the question.

It should be emphasized that this is one of the few times that a senior Iranian official has spoken in such detail regarding what Iran's "response plan" for an attack on its nuclear facilities."

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