If U.S. forces strike Iranian nuclear facilities, Iranian officials say Tehran will respond by triggering all-out regional war.
“Ballistic missiles would be fired in masses against targets in Arab gulf states and Israel,” one Foreign Ministry official said. “The objective would be to overwhelm U.S. missile defense systems with dozens and maybe hundreds of missiles fired simultaneously at specific targets.”
Tehran’s primary targets would be U.S. military installations and strategic targets in U.S.-allied Arabian Gulf states, including oil depots, refineries, power plants and desalination facilities. U.S. warships would also face waves of surface-to-surface cruise missiles sent to overwhelm their countermeasures, said several senior Iranian officials whose comments reflect the official line but who could not obtain permission to speak on the record at short notice.
“The name of the game is simply to saturate strategic targets with missile firepower in order to render the Patriots and other defenses useless,” said Hassan Fahs, a journalist and political analyst based here.
One Iranian official with knowledge of the leadership’s national-security discussions said his country’s leaders anticipate that U.S. forces will strike with no warning against the military’s command-and-control network, and have ordered ballistic- and cruise-missile battery crews to launch the retaliation plan within an hour after a U.S. attack begins.
“The U.S. will be as surprised with Iranian military capabilities as the Israelis were with Hizbollah in last summer’s war in Lebanon,” he said. “Most of our people are confident we would give the Americans hell and likely emerge victorious.”
Tehran would also allow al-Qaida and other Islamic terrorist groups free passage across its borders from Afghanistan and Asia into the Middle East, Iranian officials said.
“Iran will open a freeway for terrorists from Afghanistan all the way to Lebanon, enabling the terrorists to strike in almost every country in the Middle East,” said the official with knowledge of national-security discussions. He added that Iran currently bans such transits from Afghanistan, forcing them to take longer routes and risk capture in other countries. “This positive action would not continue if Iran is attacked by the U.S.”
Landing the Big One
Monday, June 04, 2007
Iran threatens its neighbors with a "regional war" in - Iran Vows Large-Scale Retaliation if U.S. Attacks: