Publishe Date: 5:53 PM - 4/21/2013 | Print

Supreme Leader's Aide: Iran's Influence Growing, World Powers in Decline

Politics - The growing influence of Iran as a regional power has caused a decline in the world powers' clout in the region, a senior advisor of the Iranian Supreme Leader said, stressing that the country's power was shown to the world during the 8-day war in Palestine in late 2012, when an ally of Iran made Israel regret its assault on Gaza.

"We are the top regional power politically and the yardstick of this fact is the level of influence (that a given country has) on the powers, and I know no country which has the same influence and clout that Iran has," Supreme Leader's Advisor for International Affairs and presidential hopeful Ali Akbar Velayati said on Sunday.

He downplayed the recent war rhetoric by certain world powers and Israel against Iran, and said "no power can spread war into Iran today".

Underlining Iran's power, Velayati reminded the 2012 Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip during which Hamas missiles created horror among Israelis, and said, "A small group of our allies managed to make three million Israelis hide in the basements by means of (firing) a number of small rockets."

"They should know that they can no more speak about their 'Nile to Euphrates Plan' or adoption of the military option against Iran and they should know that Iran enjoys a transnational power and might," Velayati underlined.

Iranian officials have always voiced firm support for resistance groups in Palestine against Israel's hawkish and warmongering policies and measures.

Iran's technological support for Hamas and other Palestinian groups' weapons systems helped them defeat Israel on the 8-day onslaught on the Gaza Strip late 2012.

Political and military experts believe that Israel was shocked and later pushed to reassess its calculations after Palestinian groups responded to the Israeli army's aggression on Gaza with a stunning retaliation, hitting Tel Aviv, a move which eventually made Israel start an overture and change its war rhetoric about an impending ground incursion into Gaza to a tone of compromise in pursuit of truce.

Israel was surprised when Palestinians in Gaza targeted Tel Aviv, 70km away from the foremost Palestinian territories, for the first time. The longest range recorded by Palestinian missiles earlier had been 40km.

Things grew worse for Israeli rulers when Hamas targeted Herzliya, a city 11km North of Tel Aviv.

Targeting Herzliya meant that Palestinian resistance groups now had the capability to hit targets, at least, 80km away, much beyond the previously thought 40-km range for Palestinian missiles.

And this strategic weapon which changed the scene of the war between Israel and Palestinians is a rocket known as Fajr-5.

Fajr-class rockets, Fajr-5 (Dawn 5) in particular, are known and described by the world military experts, as a weapon system appropriate for asymmetric wars, where the military power of the conflicting sides differs significantly.

The two-stage version of Fajr-5 rockets are the most effective and longest range of the Fajr-class rockets and can be used against enemy targets such as command and control centers, logistics, radar, communication, airports, plants and economic and political centers.

Israel had called up thousands of reservists and massed troops along the border with Gaza, signaling a ground invasion of the densely populated seaside strip could be imminent. But the Palestinian groups' missile attacks on Tel Aviv and the areas in the vicinity of Jerusalem frightened the Israeli regime, making it drop its aggression plans and ask for third party mediation.

Eventually, a Cairo-mediated ceasefire agreement, which took effect on November 21, ended the Israeli attacks, which killed more than 165 Palestinians and injured about 1,269 others.


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