Iran Holds Air Defense Drill Over Bushehr Nuclear Plant as General Threatens Israel
Iran’s armed forces held an air defense drill over its Bushehr nuclear power plant in the southwest of the country and over parts of the Persian Gulf on Monday. The drill comes following a break in the latest round of talks in Vienna over reviving the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers that would see the Islamic Republic slow its nuclear program in exchange for a rollback of sanctions. Iran has accused Israel of several attacks in recent months on facilities linked to its nuclear program. Also on Monday, a senior Iranian military official threatened a brutal response to any Israeli attack against the Islamic Republic. Major General Gholam Ali Rashid, commander of Khatam-al Anbiya Central Headquarter and former deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on the sidelines of the Prophet17 military exercise said that “Any threat to the nuclear and military bases of the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Zionist regime is not possible without the green light and the support of the United States.” He added: “If such threats become practical, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran will immediately attack all centers, bases, routes, and spaces used to cross, as well as the origin of the aggression in accordance with the trained operational plans.” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz recently informed the US that he had instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for a strike against Iran if talks toward reestablishing the nuclear agreement with the world powers fails.