Sunday, July 30, 2006

Iran forces urged to prepare to hit Israel

Iran's hardline forces should get ready to take revenge on Israel and the United States for the offensive on Lebanon, the head of the Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Sunday.

"The Basij and Revolutionary Guards should prepare to get even with the Zionists and Americans," Yahya Rahim-Safavi was quoted as telling Islamic militiamen by the conservative Fars news agency.

The Basij are volunteer Islamic militiamen.

"The timing of the this will be announced by the leader," he added. READ MORE

An Israeli air strike killed 54 civilians, including 37 children in the southern Lebanese village of Qana on Sunday, the bloodiest single attack since Israel's 19-day-old war on Lebanese Hizbollah guerrillas began.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards are historically close to Hizbollah and were deployed in south Lebanon during the 1980s. Mostafa Chamran, spiritual father of the Guards, forged his reputation fighting in Lebanon.

The Basij and Revolutionary Guards are directly answerable to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Although Iran funded and armed Hizbollah in the 1980s, it has insisted recently its support is mainly moral and political.

However, many sources have said Iranian arms are being used against Israeli civilian and military targets.

An Israeli military source has said an Iranian-made C802 radar-guided land-to-sea missile with a range of 60 miles (95 km) hit and badly damaged a ship during Israel's offensive against Lebanon.

Hizbollah said it fired "Raad (Thunder) 2" and "Raad 3" rockets at a rail depot in Haifa. Raad missiles are Iranian.

Israel's army said it destroyed an Iranian-made Zelzal missile with range of between 74 and 99 miles before it was launched.
Iran news agency retracts story on Israel revenge call.