Bloomberg: Iran will attack U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf if American forces launch an assault on the nation over its nuclear program, Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Bagher Zolghadr said. By Marc Wolfensberger
June 10 (Bloomberg) — Iran will attack U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf if American forces launch an assault on the nation over its nuclear program, Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Bagher Zolghadr said.
“The U.S. may initiate a devilish act, but continuing and ending that event would certainly be out of its control,” Zolghadr said yesterday, the state-run Fars news agency reported. “All U.S. bases in the region” are “within the range” of Iran’s weapons, he said.
The U.S. has led international efforts to make Iran abandon its uranium enrichment program because of concern it could be used to make nuclear weapons. Iran has already ignored several United Nations deadlines to halt enrichment and pressed ahead with plans for “industrial-scale” fuel production. Iran says the fuel is needed to generate electricity.
Zolghadr also warned that oil prices would rise to $250 a barrel “if security in the region, the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf is disturbed.” Brent crude oil closed at $68.60 a barrel on June 8.
Iran sits on one side of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, through which almost a quarter of the world’s oil flows. Iran is the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Iran announced in November the test-firing of a Shahab-3 ballistic missile capable of traveling 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), a range that puts Israel’s major cities within reach.
The same month, Iran organized 10 days of war games that were aimed at intimidating U.S. allies in the region and dissuading them from cooperating in a potential strike against Iran, U.S. officials said at the time.
Iranian support for anti-American forces in Iraq might require attacking the Iranian base where fighters are trained, U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman said today on the CBS “Face the Nation” program.
“They have a base in Iran,” said Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut. According to some estimates, fighters trained at the base “have killed some 200 American soldiers,” he said.
Lieberman said he was not calling for a full-scale invasion of Iran. The U.S. military should target the training camp inside Iran, something that might be done using air power alone, he said.
“We have good evidence” of what the Iranians are doing, said Lieberman. “If they don’t play by the rules, we have to use our force.”