Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug.21 / Trend, T.Konyayeva /
One should seriously think about Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's statements on a retaliatory strike by Iran in the case of use of military force by the U.S. militaries, because in the end the military conflict would further destabilize the situation in the region, experts say.
"If Washington wants to provoke a dangerous conflict that could further destabilize a region extending from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean to the border between Pakistan and India, a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran is the perfect way to do so," Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute Ted Galen Carpenter told Trend by e-mail.
Aug.18, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned the US against launching an attack against Iran and said if Washington chooses to resort to military means against Iran, the confrontation will not be restricted to the region alone.
In early August, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said the Pentagon considers the possibility of resolving Iranian issue by force, if Tehran continues confrontation with the West.
In addition, in recent weeks, a number of media reports and statements by military experts have become available strongly indicating that either President Barack Obama's administration or the Israeli Government, or others can prepare for an attack on Iran.
According to Carpenter, it would be dangerous to assume that Ayatollah Khamenei's warning is an empty threat.
"Iran can, and probably would, respond vigorously to U.S. or Israeli air strikes.Through its influence with allies or proxies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and elsewhere, Tehran could make life miserable for the United States throughout the Middle East and Southwest Asia," he said.
Carpenter believes that, indeed, attacks on U.S. targets elsewhere in the world including possibly in the United States itself would be a very real prospect.
In January, the U.S. stepped up missile defense unit in the Persian Gulf. The Department of Defense said that the measure was due to the growing threat from Iran, which is armed with ballistic missiles, and is envisaged to protect U.S. military facilities in the region, as well as the territory of Washington's allies.
The U.S. has several military bases in Gulf countries. In 1991, the countries of the region agreed on the establishment of U.S. military bases, which after some time become permanent. U.S. military bases appeared in Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar (the biggest in the world famous American air base Al Udeid), Oman and United Arab Emirates (in all these countries, the U.S. leased military facilities of the national armed forces).
Iranian Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) retired general Ismail Kosari also believes that in case of attack even on certain Iranian facilities by the U.S. and Israel, Iran will deliver a retaliatory strike.
"Muslims all over the world will unite in the fight against global hegemony without any prompt by us," deputy chairman of the security commission of the Iranian Parliament, Ismail Kosari told Trend from Tehran over phone. "The U.S. and Israeli leadership are well aware of this, so they will not dare attack Iran."
According to Kosari, the U.S. and Israel wages psychological war to exert pressure on Iran.
"The U.S. and Israel constantly carry out such acts of intimidation, trying to reach their goals. But Iran's authorities and people have already faced such a psychological impact, and now it can exactly define what Iran's enemies can undertake," Kosari said.
Israeli expert Meir Litvak believes that the Iranians are concerned about the possibility of an American or Israeli attack.
"They try to deter both the US and Israel by threatening to widen the arena of fighting," Litvak, Professor at Tel Aviv University's Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, wrote to Trend in an e-mail.
He believes that it is almost certain that Iranian intelligence plus Hizballah have built secret networks in various places both in the Persian Gulf and even South America in order to attack US facilities.
"The Iranians are telling the Americans that they can cause the US great damage all over the world since the US is very exposed. This is not the first time they do so. In the past they threatened to attack Israel if the US would attack them, because Israel is supposedly behind every attack," Litvak said
T.Jafarov contributed to the article.