A senior adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad taunted Israel, suggesting that the Jewish State is not powerful enough to launch a military strike on Iran, according to Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper.
During a tour of Southern Lebanon, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, who serves as Ahmadinejad's press adviser, said: “[The] Zionist regime [Israel] is weaker than being able to fulfill its threats against Islamic Republic. Iran is not afraid of any enemy, including the occupying force of [the] Zionist regime,” according to the IRNA news agency of Iran.
Javanfekr also warned that in the event that Israel attacks Iran, a counter-strike by the Islamic Republic would include not only Israel, but also U.S. targets.
[The] consequences of any attack on Iran will not be limited to the Zionist regime and its allies… the U.S. will [also] be the target of Tehran’s reaction,” he added.
“Washington officials are well aware about the devastating answer of Iran to any aggression.
Javanfekr’s comments came one day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intensified his hawkish rhetoric against Iran by asserting that his government did not necessarily need the Unites States’ support for its military expeditions, citing such past incidents as the 1967 Six-Day War and the strike on a purported Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981.
Moreover, U.S. President Barack Obama (who earlier had tried to persuade Netanyahu to consider only diplomatic efforts in dealing with Iran) appeared to be suggesting that military action against Iran may be inevitable.
While hosting British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House, Obama warned that the window for a diplomatic solution with Iran regarding its nuclear program is shrinking.”
However, Javanfekr is a somewhat controversial character even within Iran.
Last November, he was sentenced by a Tehran court to one year in jail after he had allegedly published “materials contrary to Islamic norms,” Among other things, he allegedly questioned the practice of veiling Iranian women.
The Mehr news agency of Iran stated that he was handcuffed by the authorities but later freed after pressure and intervention from Ahmadinejad.
“The judicial authorities threw teargas and tried to force their way into the [newspaper's] building, Javanfekr told the ISNA news agency at the time.
They arrested some of our reporters and took them away and hit one of my colleagues with an electric baton. My colleagues were traumatized, some of them were hurt … I'm a representative of the government and the president's adviser … If they had summoned me, I would have gone to them. They did not need to do these kind of actions.
The near-arrest of Javanfekr was viewed as part of the ongoing power struggle between Ahmadinejad and the mullahs of Iran’s parliament.