BBC published the article “Iran in Warning to US and Israel” today in its Middle East news section. One of Khamenei’s aides is widely quoted, excerpts as follows:
“The first US shot on Iran would set the United States’ vital interests in the world on fire,” said Ali Shirazi, an aide to Iran’s supreme leader. “Tel Aviv and the US fleet in the Persian Gulf would be the targets that would be set on fire,” he said. Tehran denies Western claims that it is seeking to build a nuclear weapon. It has repeatedly rejected demands to halt enriching uranium, which can be used as fuel for power plants or material for weapons if refined to a greater degree…
Ali Shirazi is a cleric working as representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the naval unit of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards. His comments come amid reports of possible US or Israeli plans to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities. “The Zionist regime is pressuring White House officials to attack Iran. If they commit such a stupidity, Tel Aviv and US shipping in the Persian Gulf will be Iran’s first targets and they will be burned in Iran’s crushing response,” Mr Shirazi was quoted as saying by Iranian news agencies. “The Iranian nation will never accept bullying. The Iranian nation is a nation of believers which believes in jihad and martyrdom. No army in the world can confront it,” he said.
Shirazi’s undisguised threats come amidst circulating debates on whether Israel will attack Iran’s (of course only peaceful) nuclear facilities. He has an extremely valid point at the end when he notes that no army can confront the ‘nation of believers which believes in jihad and martyrdom’. Rooting out the extremism rampant in Iran would be the first and more important step to overcoming the hostile nation.