Following are excerpts from various declarations by Brigadier-General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force, which aired on Iranian TV channels during July 2011:
Al-Alam TV, July 3, 2011:
Interviewer: In a blitz attack, which may be contemplated by the US or the Israeli entity, for example, the element of surprise is always talked about. Can it now be said…Now that you have achieved the technology to build underground silos for missiles, which are ready for launching at any moment, in addition to the other advantages you have noted, can it now be said that the element of surprise has become a thing of the past?
Amir Ali Hajizadeh: We have, in fact, shortened our response time. It is only natural that our response to the evil deeds of the enemy will not be restricted to one means. There will be other means. But as far as missile systems are concerned, I can say that we will shorten the necessary response time. In any event, maybe in the past, our enemies thought about this, but today, the Zionist entity no longer does. Nor does the US contemplate embarking upon the adventure of a war against Iran, because it would be difficult for it to avoid the serious consequences, and the decisive Iranian retaliation.
Perhaps this possibility was on the agenda in the days of Bush. Back then, they were waging a psychological war, in an attempt to beat us without waging an actual war. At any rate, it was necessary to reduce our response time. If the Zionist entity wants to attack us, we will strike at the heart of Tel Aviv before their planes even leave our airspace. They thought that they could carry out a quick bombardment and return home, and then other countries would intervene to achieve a truce, like was the case with [Israel's Arab enemies]. But we have denied them this possibility. Nobody would dare to attack us. Before those planes – or what is left of them – return to their bases, our missiles would hit their designated targets.
We have planned and conducted calculations, and we have reached the conclusion that we do not need a range of more than 2,000 kilometers, because Israel is no further than this from our borders. But in order to feel secure, and for our [strategic] centers to be secure, we must be prepared and must develop and enlarge our missile bases.
We do not feel that we have another enemy, more than 2,000 km away. This is not on our agenda. The US has also made our missions easier. There are 50 American bases surrounding Iran, no more than 200-300 kilometers away. If the Americans want to carry out evil deeds against us – well, they have brought 150,000 soldiers over, and they have dozens of bases. We can bomb all these targets, including the US Navy in the Persian Gulf. This will happen if the US wants to carry out a criminal operation against us, and the same goes for Israel.
IRINN – Iranian News Channel, July 8, 2011:
Most of our tests are conducted in the desert. God has given us a security zone of over 1,000 kilometers to carry out our mission. In some cases, we have to test longer-range missiles. We did so in the month of Bahman last year, when we fired two missiles, with a range of 1,900 km, from the Semnan Desert towards the Indian Ocean.
Interestingly, the Americans were present there at the time. We announced [the test] and closed off the area. The point where the missiles made contact with the water was clearly visible. Our prediction about the missiles' point of contact was confirmed, and the data was recorded. We let the US spy planes remain in the area, because it is a public area and we were not worried. It is interesting that the Americans did not make any information public.
There were two parts to this test. The first was the firing of surface-to-surface missiles, which the ground unit carried out. The second part took place in the sea and was concluded last week. With regard to the ground unit, we successfully used new operators in all the launching pads. These new operators completed their training last year or in recent years. The test was completely successful and on schedule. According to the initial reports of the evaluation teams, the units carried out their work successfully. The target areas were hit successfully.
With regard to the sea unit, we tested the Persian Gulf, missile, the research phase of which was completed last year. It was manufactured by the Ministry of Defense. We fired missiles from the first batch successfully.
Channel 1, Iranian TV, July 19, 2011:
This aircraft carrier is 330 meters long and 70 meters wide. It has more than 6,000 personnel on board, and it carries 70-80 aircrafts. This is a target for us. If they think that these capabilities increase their power in the region, they are obviously mistaken. With our current capacities, they cannot threaten us. If they make any move against us, we will attack them. Naturally, we did not start a war in the past, we are not doing so now, and we will not do so in the future. If they take any action against us, our response will be strong and lethal.