A top Iranian military commander on Saturday told US President Barack Obama that Tehran also had all of its “options on the table,” echoing a warning to the Islamic republic by the American leader.
“Mr Obama, do not make a mistake: we too have all our options on the table. Before you get deeper in the region’s quagmire, go back home!” Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri was quoted as saying on sephanews.com, website of the elite Revolutionary Guards.
“Our commanders have been authorised to respond to any kind of hostile move by the enemy,” he said, without elaborating. The Islamic republic’s forces come under overall command of the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Jazayeri was speaking two days after Obama in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 television said that Iran is “over a year or so” from getting a nuclear bomb, and warned that the military option remained on the table.
The United States, Israel and much of the West believe that Iran’s nuclear programme of uranium enrichment is a cover for a weapons drive, a charge denied by Tehran.
Israel, the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, has refused to rule out the option of a pre-emptive military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the question of Iran would be a top priority in his talks with Obama when the US president visits Jerusalem later this month.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ commanders say they would view any Israeli attack as being carried out with US authorisation, and have warned that they would retaliate by hitting US military bases in Afghanistan, Qatar and Bahrain.