Iran’s newly-appointed army chief on Monday warned the Islamic Republic would raze the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if the “Zionist regime” makes “any wrong move.”
In remarks delivered at an event in the holy city of Qom, General Abdolrahim Mousavi said previous warnings that Israel will not exist in 25 years did not mean it would necessarily last that long.
“That we say that the Zionist regime will not see 25 years later doesn’t mean that it will certainly survive for 25 years,” he said according to the semi-official Fars News Agency. “There is a prerequisite for this famous sentence, that is if the Zionist regime makes any wrong move, Haifa and Tel Aviv will be razed down to the ground.”
Mousavi, who issued a nearly identical threat last month, was appointed in August as the commander of the Iranian army, an entity separate from the country’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.
His comments echo a prediction made by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2015.
In a quote posted to Twitter by Khamenei’s official account in September of that year, the Iranian leader addressed Israel, saying, “You will not see next 25 years,” and added that the Jewish state will be hounded until it is destroyed.
The quote was published over a backdrop of a photograph apparently showing the Iranian leader walking on an Israeli flag painted on a sidewalk.
The quote was apparently taken from a speech given earlier in the day.
Israel has raised urgent concerns in various forums over Iran’s presence in Syria near the Israeli border, as well as over Iran’s nuclear program.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in New York for the UN General Assembly, is expected to press US President Donald Trump during a meeting later Monday on leaving or renegotiated the seven-nation nuclear deal designed to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.