Tehran, Sep 24 (IANS) A top Iranian official has said a World War III may erupt if his country is attacked by Israel, concerned over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.
Brig. Gen. Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Aerospace Division of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), told Press TV that in case of the eruption of such a war, the situation would be out of control.
"This war is likely to degenerate into the World War III," Hajizadeh was quoted as saying.
Stating that some countries might enter the war in favour of or against Iran, the official said: "We see the US and the Zionist regime (of Israel) alongside one another and we can by no means imagine that the Zionist regime would initiate a war (against Iran) without US support."
"The Islamic Republic of Iran considers US bases in the region as part of American soil and will definitely target them if a war breaks out," he added.
According to Xinhua, IRGC commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari has said that a war on Iran "will eventually happen".
"War will happen but it is not clear where and when," Jafari was quoted as saying.
He, however, said Iran was ready to confront any possible strike against the country.
Another IRGC commander, Hossein Salami, supported the remarks by Jafari, and said: "Iran will obliterate the Zionist regime if the latter takes any action against Iran," the official IRNA news agency reported.
Salami, however, said Iran does not want to initiate a war against any country, but in case it is attacked by any country it will never stop its counterattack till the annihilation of the enemy.
According to Press TV, Iran's Air Force plans to hold a massive military manoeuvre in the southern part of the country by the end of the current Iranian calendar year - March 2013.
"Manoeuvres to be carried out by Iran are peaceful and indicate that Iran and regional countries are capable of safeguarding their security," Deputy Commander of Iran's Air Force, Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh, was quoted as saying.
Nasirzadeh said the presence of "non-regional powers" in the Persian Gulf was "illegitimate" as they cannot provide regional states with security.
IRNA said the IRGC will also hold a 15,000-man manoeuvre in Shahr-e-Rey district of Tehran Sep 27-28.
IRGC Commander-in-charge of the operations, General Nasiri told IRNA that the exercises would help raise combat readiness of the ground forces.