Iran official: Missiles need only 7 minutes to hit Tel Aviv
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Iran official: Missiles need only 7 minutes to hit Tel Aviv

Mojtaba Zonour threatens attack on Israel if US launches military strike on Islamic Republic

In this Dec. 29, 2016 file photo, released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), a long-range S-200 missile is fired in a military drill in the port city of Bushehr, on the northern coast of Persian Gulf, Iran. (Amir Kholousi, ISNA via AP, File)
In this Dec. 29, 2016 file photo, released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), a long-range S-200 missile is fired in a military drill in the port city of Bushehr, on the northern coast of Persian Gulf, Iran. (Amir Kholousi, ISNA via AP, File)

A senior Iranian government official on Saturday warned Tehran would swiftly retaliate against Israel if the US launched a military strike against Iran.

Mojtaba Zonour, a member of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission and a former Islamic Revolution Guards Corps official, boasted an Iranian missile could hit Tel Aviv in under seven minutes, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

Zonour said Tehran would strike the Israeli coastal city and “raze to the ground” a US military base in Bahrain “if the enemy makes a mistake.”

“And only seven minutes is needed for the Iranian missile to hit Tel Aviv,” he added.

Zonour’s comments came during a Revolutionary Guard military exercise aimed at testing its missile and radar systems. The exercise was taking place in a 35,000-square-kilometer (13,515-square-mile) area in Semnan province in northern Iran.

Illustrative photo of Iranian Revolutionary Guards (@MidEastNews_Eng via Twitter/File)
Illustrative photo of Iranian Revolutionary Guards (@MidEastNews_Eng via Twitter/File)

The Saturday exercise came a day after US President Donald Trump’s administration imposed sanctions on Iran in response to a recent missile test. The sanctions target more than two dozen people and companies from the Persian Gulf to China.

On Saturday, another senior IRGC official issued a similar warning against the US.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the Guard’s airspace division, said: “If the enemy makes a mistake, our roaring missiles will come down on them,” according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Hajizadeh said Washington criticism of recent Iranian missile tests was “a pretext to show their animosity towards us; we are making round-the-clock efforts to defend our country’s security and if the enemy dares to make any mistake our roaring missiles will land on them.”

Iran last Sunday test-fired a medium range missile, which the White House contends violated a UN Security Council resolution proscribing missiles that could carry a nuclear device.

The Islamic Republic has confirmed it tested a ballistic missile but denied it was a breach of a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers or UN resolutions.

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