Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that international efforts to deter Iran from developing nuclear weapons are failing. He has called on President Barack Obama to set red lines that, if crossed, would spark a U.S. attack on Irans nuclear facilities.
Mr. Obama has rejected the Israeli leaders suggestion, saying that diplomacy and sanctions must be allowed more time. At the same time, there is a possibility that Israel will strike Irans nuclear plants.
On Sunday, Iran weighed in with warnings to Israel and the United States.
A senior commander of Irans Revolutionary Guards said that Iran will attack U.S. bases in the region should a war with Israel occur. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who heads the Guards aerospace division, was responding to Israels suggestions that it could strike Iranian nuclear facilities to prevent Iran from building a bomb.
The Iranian general said that Israel could not attack without support from the United States. For this reason, we will enter a confrontation with both parties and will definitely be at war with American bases should a war break out, he said in a posting on the website of Irans Al-Alam TV.
That would include U.S. bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan, he said. There will be no neutral country in the region. To us, these bases are equal to U.S. soil.
This comes at a time that U.S.-led forces are conducting military exercises in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. Navy has said that the exercises are not aimed at Iran but that American forces will act if Iran follows through on threats to close Gulf oil shipping lanes.
Last week, the Guards chief commander, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, noted that U.S. military bases are within range of Iranian missiles and theorized that the United States would not attack Iran for that reason.
Tensions in the Gulf have risen. An act of war could involve several countries.
Diplomacy and sanctions are preferable to the alternative. But Tehran refuses to alter its course on nuclear power.