September 06, 2013

Iran ready to kidnap Americans if US strikes Syria: Report

The debate over whether US Congress approves the Obama administration's plan to strike Syria for its use of chemical weapons is being closely watched in Iran.

The country is weighing whether to order Hezbollah to launch rockets at Israel or target US warships in the Mediterranean. Or they could send shadowy groups for suicide-bomb attacks against Israelis and Americans.

One blogger even said that Iran could try kidnapping families of American military officers in far-flung corners of the globe.

According to the Washington Times, the range of statements emanating from Tehran in the past week has shown that Iran's leaders are apparently not in agreement over exactly what they would do.

Trita Parsi, who heads the National Iranian American Council, said that if the US strikes Syria, there's going to be an intense debate inside Iran as to whether or not respond, and if so how.

According to the report, both Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the general in charge of the nation's elite military force have said a US strike will result in attacks on US interests in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the extent and details of the relationship between Iran and Syria remains mysterious.

The two nations have been allies to some extent since the 1980s, when Syria was the only major Arab state to side with Iran in its war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the report said.

According to the report, one of the more outlandish calls for retribution to a possible US strike appeared last week from Iranian blogger Ali Reza Forghani, who called for kidnapping and amputations of American civilians worldwide.

Within hours of a US strike on Syria "a family member of every US minister, US ambassadors and US military commanders around the world will be abducted", Forghani wrote in a post that also personally warned Obama that there are many people "all around the world that can assault, his daughter, Sasha".

But Western analysts said Forghani, while being known for radical positions and posting from a country that tightly regulates Internet access, has a narcissistic streak, and they do not believe he represents the official Iranian line, the report added.

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