Israel Unable to Strike Iran Without 'Green Light' From US, Tehran's Top Commander Says
On Monday morning, the Iranian military carried out an air defence exercise in the airspace above the Bushehr nuclear power plant, with Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps staging massive drills across the country's south that are scheduled to last for five days.
Israel is not able to carry out a strike against Iran's nuclear or military bases without approval from the United States, Gholamali Rashid, chief of the Iranian armed forces central command headquarters, said Monday.
"Any threat to Iran's nuclear and military bases by the Zionist regime is not possible without the green light support of the United States", he said.
According to Rashid, the response in the event of any aggression from Israel would include "a crushing attack on all bases, centres, paths, and space used to carry out the aggression without delay".
His comments come shortly after the start of massive five-day military drills in Iran, with the country's armed forces conducting an air defence exercise in the airspace above the Bushehr nuclear power plant on Monday.
Aside from this, tense talks concerning Iran's nuclear programme are continuing in Vienna, with the seventh round kicking off on 29 November and a new one set to begin after the Christmas holidays. The negotiations have already faced several stumbling blocks, and the US has said that it is contemplating additional options if diplomacy fails to resolve the issue.
20 December 2021, 22:41 GMT
The talks have been launched in order to discuss the possibility of reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - a nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries (the United States, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom along with Germany and the European Union).
The accord was inked in 2015 and envisaged relief of economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran scaling back its nuclear programme. However, in 2018 former US President Donald Trump exited from the deal, prompting the Islamic republic to step away from its nuclear commitments.
Since the initiative to revive the deal emerged, Israel has been voicing concerns that Iran might acquire nuclear weapons - something that Tehran has denied. Still, Israeli and American military leaders are planning their own drills to practice destroying Iranian nuclear facilities in a potential worst-case scenario if the nuclear talks fail, The Times of Israel reported, citing an unnamed senior US official.