TEHRAN, Iran – The deputy commander of Iran’s air force said Wednesday that plans have been drawn up to bomb Israel if the Jewish state attacks Iran, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
The announcement comes amid rising tensions in the region with the United States calling for a new round of U.N. sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program and Israeli planes having recently overflown, and perhaps even attacked, Iranian ally Syria’s territory.
“We have drawn up a plan to strike back at Israel with our bombers if this regime (Israel) makes a silly mistake,” deputy air force chief, Gen. Mohammad Alavi was quoted as telling Fars in an interview.
The Fars news agency confirmed the quotes when contacted by the Associated Press, but would not provide a tape of the interview. The Iranian Air Force, for its part, had no immediate comment on the interview.
Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammed Najjar, however, did tell the official IRNA news agency Wednesday that “we keep various options open to respond to threats … we will make use of them if required.”
Iran has threatened in the past that Israel would be Iran’s first retaliatory target if attacked by the United States. But Alavi’s comments were the first word of specific contingency plans for striking back on Israel.