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|Martin Barillas||June 23rd 2012|
Cutting Edge Senior Correspondent
On June 23, an Iranian general said that any military action by Israel on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program would lead to a collapse of the Jewish state, according to the Fars news agency. This followed the failure of multilateral talks in Moscow, in which Iran and interlocutors such as the U.S. and Russia failed to come to an agreement on the nuclear program.
Fears were thus heightened that Israel might take unilateral military action to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, which is feared to be bent on producing nuclear weapons. However, agreement was reached for a follow-up meeting of technical experts on July 3, saving the process from outright failure.
Iranian Brigadier-General Mostafa Izadi, who serves as Iran’s deputy chief of staff of the armed forces, said of Israel, "They cannot do the slightest harm to the (Iranian) revolution and the system," according to Fars. "If the Zionist regime takes any (military) actions against Iran, it would result in the end of its labors," he added. He also said, "If they act logically, such threats amount to a psychological war but if they want to act illogically, it is they who will be destroyed."
The Iranian general’s remarks a presumed to be a response to Israeli Vice Minister Shaul Mofaz, who called for stricter sanctions against the Islamic Republic. He indicated that that military action by Israel is still an option. Spokesmen for Iran frequently use such rhetoric as a way of piquing Western concern over the economic chaos that would ensue following oil supply disruption if, for example, the Strait of Hormuz were closed and thus preventing oil tankers from reaching world markets. The mining of the Persian Gulf in the late 1970s produced a naval confrontation between the Iranians and the U.S. Navy, while the resulting oil scarcity caused a jump in prices.
During the Moscow negotiations, the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany , all demanded that Iran should put the brakes on its nuclear project and cease uranium enrichment to produce materials for an atomic bomb. Their demands included the shuttering the Fordow underground uranium enrichment facility and the shipping of any stockpile of fissionable out of the country.
The six powers offered nuclear fuel to keep Iran's medical isotope reactor running, assistance in nuclear safety , and an end to a ban on spare parts for Iran's aging civilian aircraft. Iran continues to deny that its nuclear program has any military applications at all, saying that the six powers should provide relief from sanctions and also acknowledge that Iran’s right to enrich uranium before it meets their demands.
Martin Barillas also edits Speroforum.