Iran would attack United States military bases in the Middle East if they were attacked by Israel, according to Hezbollah’s leader.
Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the proxy threats in an interview with Lebanese-based Al-Mayadeen TV on Monday.
The US has numerous military bases within the Gulf. The US army’s fifth fleet is stationed in the Bahraini capital of Manama, 24,000 US troops are based in Kuwait, while Qatar houses around 4,500 US troops, according to ABC news.
“A decision has been taken to respond and the response will be very great,” Nasrallah said in the interview, adding that “America bears responsibility” in case of an Israel attack on the Islamic republic.
“The statements mean but one thing; Iran and its regional allies are suffering from numerous concerns,” Mohamed Abbass Nagui, researcher at the Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies specialising in Iranian affairs, said in reference to Nasrallah’s statements.
According to Nagui, the concern is due to pressure facing Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, whom describes as the “axis of communication” between Hezbollah and Iran.
“Nasrallah just wants to make clear the fact that a war on Iran would be no picnic,” Nagui said.
Despite the threats, Nasrallah said in his personal opinion an Israeli strike is unlikely, citing the deterioration of the global economy and the prospective Israeli casualties. He also mentioned that Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu was “playing down” the consequences of such an attack on Israel.
Nagui also agreed with Nasrallah that an imminent war on Iran is not likely.
“It is merely a state of psychological war involving Israeli escalation,” Nagui said, “nothing more. For starters, the world and regional powers are waiting to see what will happen in Syria. If Al-Assad is toppled, this would save the west the trouble of striking Iran, since the fall of Al-Assad’s regime would be a huge blow on Iran that would definitely weaken its position and possibly even have it reach a resolution with the west regarding its nuclear programme.
“Moreover, we are approaching the US presidential elections and the US administration is thus intent on avoiding the hassle a war on Iran would bring.”
Nasrallah’s statements coincided with a report released by daily Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth claiming the US had recently sent messages to Iran via two (unidentified) European countries saying it would not get involved in an Israeli strike on Iran if the Islamic republic does not touch upon American interests in the region.
The statements were categorically denied by the White House however.
“The report is false and we don’t talk about hypotheticals,” White House spokesperson Jay Carney told Yediot Ahronoth.