Pakistan will retaliate if Israel attacks Iran, says diplomat

Hossein Salami
A European diplomat has quoted Pakistani officials as saying that Islamabad will retaliate in kind if the Israeli military attacks Iran. Speaking to the Associated Press, the anonymous diplomat, who is stationed in Pakistan, said Pakistani military leaders have decided that “if Iran is attacked [they] will have no alternative but to launch a reprisal attack”. The warning, which the Associated Press appears to be treating as reliable, implies the involvement of Pakistan —the world’s only predominantly Muslim nuclear power— in a possible war between Iran and Israel. The latter is also widely considered to possess a formidable nuclear weapons arsenal. Other reports quote several international experts who seem to agree that it will be impossible to contain the ramifications of a possible military confrontation between Iran and Israel to a strictly regional level. Nick Witney, former Director of the European Defense Agency, who is currently Senior Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, argues that an Iranian-Israeli war will have immediate effects on the global economy. According to Witney, “the political and economic consequences of an Israeli attack would be catastrophic for Europe”, as the immediate spike in oil prices will cause out-of-control defaults in countries like Italy and Greece. This will eventually push the entire European Union, including economic powerhouse Germany, into a deep and prolonged recession, and may even cause the euro to collapse altogether. Moreover, says Witney, Iran will “probably retaliate against European interests in the region, and conceivably more directly with terrorism aimed at Western countries and societies”. On Monday, Brigadier General Hossein Salami (pictured), who is currently Deputy Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), echoed Witney’s words, when he told Iranian media that Iran “will target any country where an attack against Iran is staged”. Salami did not elaborate on the word “staged”, but added that the “origin of an enemy offensive against the Islamic Republic of Iran will become the target of a reciprocal assault by IRGC combat units”. Western commentators have interpreted his words as a warning intended for Iran’s neighboring countries. Israel has remained silent on the matter. Speaking to Israeli media over the weekend, Amos Yadlin, former Director of Israel’s military intelligence, said there was too much public discussion over Iran, and suggested that “Israel should go back to what it does best: shut up”.

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