Israel would not dare launch an attack on Iran for fear of the Islamic Republic's missile array and the support of its Islamic allies in the region, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said on Wednesday.
"In the event of an attack against Iran, the Israelis know that with the capabilities that the Islamic world and the Shiite world have in the region, they will suffer deadly strikes," the Mehr news agency quoted Jafari as saying, in an apparent reference to Hizbullah.
"Our strategic assessment shows that if the Zionist regime took action, whether alone or with the United States, in minimal time all of its territory would be vulnerable because this country lacks strategic depth and lies within the range of Iranian missiles," Jafari said.
"Iran's ballistic capabilities are such that the Zionist regime, with all the means at its disposal, has no way of countering them," the general added.
Jafari's comments come as Tehran grows increasingly concerned of a possible Israeli raid on its nuclear facilities. Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued an overt warning to Iran earlier this week during his meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "Israel will not tolerate a nuclear Iran, and no options are being taken off the table," Barak told the secretary.
The Revolutionary Guards continue to tout their capabilities as a means of rattling nerves in Jerusalem and Washington, threatening retaliatory strikes with Iran's Shihab-3 missiles which have a nominal range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) - enough to reach Israel.
Jafari said an attack against Iran could come only from the United States and warned that in that event "our riposte will be swift, tough and unimaginable".
He said that the presence of US forces all around Iran's borders, in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gulf, made them too vulnerable to reprisal attacks.
Jafari announced earlier this month that Iran has recently tested a new maritime weapon capable of targeting any enemy vessel within 300 kilometers (186 miles) of its borders. The general said that the weapon was developed in Iran and that no other country posses similar technology.
Iran frequently boasts its technological achievements, particularly in regards to the development of arms and military equipment, mostly in an effort to deter western nations from launching a military campaign against the Islamic Republic. However, on numerous occasions there is a notable discrepancy between what it published in the Iranian media and the genuine product.
AFP contributed to this report