At least 10,000 Israelis will die if Israel strikes Iran, a senior member of Iran’s Expediency Council and former Revolutionary Guards Corps commander said on Monday.

“If they attack, Iran’s deterrent power would deal a mortal blow to them and the Israeli death rate would not be less than 10,000,” PressTV quoted Mohsen Rezai, who led the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps for 16 years in the 1980s and 1990s, saying. He added that the death toll would quickly force Israel to desist.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in August suggested that in the event Israel goes to war with Iran, his group would fire rockets at Israel and “transform the lives of millions of Zionists in occupied Palestine to a real hell.” Nasrallah said the attacks would result in tens of thousands of Israeli fatalities.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak and former home front defense minister Matan Vilnai have stated that the estimated death toll in the event of war with Iran was 500 Israelis.

“We don’t want war,” Rezai said, adding that Tehran is “fully prepared to defend [our country against any strike].” The former chief commander of the IRGC charged that Israel wouldn’t dare invade Iran and it threatens a strike on Iran “to win concessions from the next US president.”

Rezai currently serves as the secretary general of the 39-member Expediency Council, headed by Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, which acts as an advisory group to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Rezai reiterated a sentiment shared by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who told the American press in September that “we do not take seriously threats of the Zionists.”

“We believe the Zionists see themselves at a dead end and they want to find an adventure to get out of this dead end. While we are fully ready to defend ourselves, we do not take these threats seriously,” Ahmadinejad said.

Israel has indicated a readiness to resort to force if all else fails to thwart Iran’s nuclear program.