Gholamali Rashid, IRGC commander threatens 'crushing response' to Israel.

Gholamali Rashid, IRGC commander threatens 'crushing response' to Israel.

Iran Threatens 'Crushing Response' To Israel As It Begins Large Drills

12/20/2021

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched large-scale air and naval drills in the Persian Gulf on Monday, while pledging a tough repsonse to Israel in case of attack.

Earlier, some media outlets reported that anti-aircraft fire was heard around Iran’s sole nuclear power plant at Bushehr, on the Persian Gulf.

State media later reported that the sounds were related to an air defense exercise as part of the larger drills, while warning Tehran would give a "crushing response" to any Israeli attack.

"This air defense exercise took place at 5 a.m. local time (0130 GMT) with full preparation and coordination with the armed forces," Bushehr's deputy governor Mohammadtaghi Irani told Iranian state media.

Iran has accused Israel of several attacks on facilities linked to its nuclear program and killing its nuclear scientists over the past years. Israel has neither denied nor confirmed the allegations.

Israel has long threatened military action against Iran, and recently reportedly allocated $1.5 billion for an attack if Iran gets dangerously close to obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The escalation comes as world powers have been discussing the revival of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program, which Israel has opposed.

Iran has warned of a "crushing" response to any Israeli move against the Islamic Republic.

"If Israel carries out attacks against Iran, our armed forces will immediately attack all centers, bases, routes, and spaces used to carry out the aggression," Iranian commander Gholamali Rashid said, according to Nournews.

The spokesman of the joint drills, codenamed The Great Prophet 17, said on Monday that the five-day military maneuvers will be conducted by IRGC’s ground forces, air force, and navy in cooperation with the cyber electronic wing of the IRGC along the coastal regions of three southern provinces of Hormozgan, Bushehr, and Khuzestan.

General Abbas Nilforoushan added that the maneuver is simulated based on a hybrid warfare model to display the country's military might.

About a fifth of oil that is consumed globally passes through the strategic Strait of Hormuz Strait in the Persian Gulf, where periodic confrontations have taken place between Iran’s military and the US Navy.

Indirect talks between Iran and the United States to reinstate the nuclear pact have made little discernible progress since they resumed last month for the first time since Iran's hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June.

The 2015 deal lifted sanctions against Tehran in return for restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities aimed at extending the time Tehran would need to obtain enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb if it chose to - so-called breakout time - to at least a year from roughly two to three months.

In response to Trump's "maximum pressure" policy, Iran in 2019 started breaching the deal's nuclear restrictions and pressing ahead further with its atomic activities. Iran has enriched more than 200 kilograms of uranium to 20 and 60 percent purity, substantially reducing the time needed to produce a bomb.

Tehran says its nuclear steps are reversible if all sanctions are lifted in a verifiable process.

With reporting by Reuters, Iran media

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