The war of nerves between Iran and Israel continued to escalate over the weekend as a prominent Iranian officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps threatened to launch a pre-emptive attack on Israel if Tehran concluded that an Israeli attack was imminent.
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace force, which controls Iran’s ballistic missiles, on Sunday warned that “unpredictable and unmanageable things would happen and it could turn into a World War Three.”
General Hajizadeh also threatened to attack U.S. bases in the Middle East if Israel attacks Iran:
I believe that you cannot separate an Iranian war with the Zionist entity from an Iranian war with the U.S. If either of them starts a war, it will embroil the other in it.… We do not believe that the Zionist entity would dare to attack us without coordination with and the support of the U.S. We know that the two are one. This may take minutes or hours, but ultimately, we will enter a war with both—especially if we attack the U.S. bases. We will see the U.S. standing by the Zionist entity. I don’t believe that the small Zionist entity is capable of fighting us without U.S. support.
Iran’s latest threat came three days before Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is slated to address the U.N. General Assembly on September 26. Iran’s truculent president is likely to try to demonize the U.S. and peddle the cover story that Iran production of enriched uranium is meant only for nuclear energy.
It is a shame that the U.N. continues to offer itself as a platform for Ahmadinejad to spew his vitriol at the same time that his regime defies the U.N. Security Council on the nuclear issue and issues calls for the destruction of Israel, a U.N. member state, that are tantamount to a call for genocide.
President Obama should push back against Iranian his own speech before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. He should warn that Iran’s nuclear program is a grave threat to international security and urge the U.N. to impose more sanctions and approve the use of force against Iran if it continues to defy U.N. Security Council resolutions on the nuclear issue.
Adam Gianella is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm.