A senior Iranian commander has warned Israel and the United States that it cannot afford the costs of a confrontation with the Islamic Republic.
“At present, the development and deepening of Iran’s regional power has made any decision to confront the Islamic Republic difficult, which will be followed by unimaginable costs,” Maj.-Gen. Gholam Ali Rashid, who commands the Khatam al Anbia Central Headquarters, was quoted by Iran’s Fars News as saying on Sunday.
“Today, the Zionist regime has, more than the past, understood the Islamic Republic of Iran’s power in the region and will avoid testing it because it cannot manage confrontation against Iran and cannot bear its costs,” he added.
The Khatam al Anbia is considered as one of the most prestigious and highest operation command centers that played a significant role in the Iran-Iraq war by coordinating operations between the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and army operation command centers.
According to a senior IRGC official, Tehran has increased its missile production threefold after the government, parliament and other Iranian officials had agreed on the need for ground-to-ground missiles.
“In the past, we had to do a lot of explaining to various bodies for our actions, but it’s not like that anymore,” Brig.-Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Guards’ aerospace division, was quoted by Fars as saying.
In mid-February, Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the head of US Central Command, said that Iran was “increasing the number and quality” of its ballistic missiles deployed to Syria and has “enhanced” its funding to its proxy troops in the Middle East.
Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over the growing Iranian presence on its northern borders and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah from Iran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are redlines for the Jewish State.
Jerusalem has admitted to carrying out strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah targets in the war-torn country and at the Munich Security Conference in February, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel could strike the Islamic Republic directly and cautioned Tehran not to “test Israel’s resolve.”
“Israel will not allow Iran’s regime to put a noose of terror around our neck. We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves. And we will act, if necessary, not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself,” he said.
Israel and the US are currently holding one of the largest aerial defense drills, with some 2,500 American troops participating alongside a similar number of IDF troops in the Juniper Cobra 2018 drill, simulating large-scale missile barrages on the Jewish state.
Over the course of the two-week-long exercise, troops will practice challenging and complex scenarios adapted to Israel’s operational reality, such as missile threats in various sectors simultaneously and the threat posed by precise missiles like Iran is trying to produce for Hezbollah.
Washington and Jerusalem have signed an agreement which would see the US come to assist Israel with missile defense in times of war and, according to Brig.-Gen Zvika Haimovitch, the head of the IDF’s Aerial Defense Division, “I am sure once the order comes we will find here US troops on the ground to be part of our deployment and team to defend the State of Israel.”