A top Iranian defense official said the Americans are fully aware that their assets in the Middle East can be destroyed by Iran’s missiles and know that should war break out in the region, it would not be a “walk in the park.”
In a June 20 interview on Iraq’s Alnujaba TV, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) monitoring group and posted to social media Sunday, former Iranian defense minister Gen. Hossein Dehghan said Iran’s military could destroy US military bases in the region and annihilate Israel.
“Our missiles can totally obliterate those bases,” Dehghan said. “Israel knows that Iran will erase its entity and uproot it from existence in case of a war.”
Dehghan said US President Donald Trump and his country fear the outbreak of war because they are unable to get global legal legitimacy for an attack or assemble an international coalition against Iran. He warned that if war broke out, America would find itself in the “garbage bin of history.”
However, Dehghan said he did not think such a war was in the offing, because of how powerful Iran is.
A former brigadier general in Iran’s air force, Dehghan was defense minister of Iran from 2013 until 2017, when he became defense adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The US armed forces maintain numerous army, navy and air force bases in the region near Iran. Those bases located in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, the UAE and Bahrain have at least ten thousand American personnel and an unknown number of troops from coalition partners as well as local contractors.
Tensions between the two countries are running high after Iran shot down a US spy drone last week and US President Donald Trump considered, then canceled, a retaliatory strike.
The Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran, including on its energy sector, last November, after pulling America out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers in May 2018.
Following a fresh round of American sanctions leveled against Iranian leaders on Monday, Iran’s foreign minister said that leaders in Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US “despise diplomacy and thirst for war.”
Agencies contributed to this report.