TEHRAN (Reuters) – Any U.S. or Israeli attack against Iran will be returned by a force 100 times stronger, the head of the Revolutionary Guards said on Monday, as pressure mounts on Tehran’s atomic work and its support for Hizbollah.
“There is no doubt that if these criminals attempt any operation or vicious assault, they will receive blows 100 times harder,” said Yahya Rahim-Safavi, commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards.
“They will not last against the raging sea of the Iranian people and the power of Islamic Iran,” he was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.
The U.N. Security Council has demanded Iran end its atomic work by the end of this month after Tehran failed to convince the international community its atomic scientists were only working on power stations and not on bombs.
Washington has declined to rule out military strikes as a solution to the nuclear dispute.
Although Tehran argues its support for Hizbollah is purely moral, Israel insists many of the rockets being fired against its civilian and military targets are Iranian made. Washington also accuses Tehran of actively funding Hizbollah.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are traditionally very close to fellow Shi’ite Muslims in Hizbollah and were deployed in south Lebanon in the 1980s.
Israel launched an offensive against south Lebanon on July 12 after Hizbollah captured two of its soldiers.
Iran’s Shahab-3 missiles are deployed with the Revolutionary Guards. With a range of 2,000 km (1,200 miles), these weapons can hit Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf.