Iran’s army chief of staff warned Monday that the regime would respond to any Israeli aggression “at an appropriate time,” as the countries continued to trade threats amid spiraling tensions.
“If the enemy casts a covetous eye on our interests or conducts [even] a slight act of aggression, the Islamic Republic will give an appropriate response at an appropriate time,” Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri said according to regime-affiliated Press TV.
He told his forces that the power and strength of the Iranian armed forces deterred any enemies from attacking.
“The defense power and strength of the Iranian Armed Forces have made the enemy come to the conclusion that any aggression against the country would have no outcome except casualties and expenses and that it would be impossible for it to achieve any of its objectives,” Press TV quoted him as saying.
Israeli defense officials warned on Sunday that Iran was planning to retaliate by having its proxies fire missiles at military targets in northern Israel in the near future.
Tehran vowed revenge after the T-4 army base in Syria was struck in an air raid on April 9, killing at least seven members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The strike was widely attributed to Israel, though Jerusalem refused to comment on it. T-4 was the base from which Israel said Iran launched an attack drone into Israel in February. Late last month, a second strike, allegedly conducted by Israel, against an Iranian-controlled base in northern Syria was said to have killed more than two dozen Iranian soldiers.
Bagheri said that there would be a response, even if not immediately.
“Not responding to some events in past few days, doesn’t mean [our] silence,” Bagheri reportedly said, according to Iranian media.
On Sunday, Bagheri stressed that his army was prepared to respond to any threat.
“At the present time, the Armed Forces are maintaining a high level of readiness to give a response to any threat and act of aggression by enemies of the Islamic Iran,” he said, according to Press TV.
Last month, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Israel was prepared to strike the Iranian homeland. “If they attack Tel Aviv, we will strike Tehran,” he said.
However, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said that he did not believe Israel would attack.
“As the official in charge of the country’s national security body, I am explicitly and confidently announcing that the possibility of a war [against Iran] is ruled out because of enemies’ assessment of the Islamic Republic’s political strength, its military and security preparedness in domestic and foreign arenas, as well as their lack of determination, coherence and operational capability,” he said.
On Sunday, all of Israel’s nightly news broadcasts reported that the Israeli military and intelligence services had identified preliminary efforts by Iran in Syria to carry out its reprisal, using its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Hezbollah terrorist group, and local Shiite militias to launch a barrage of precision-guided missiles, likely at Israeli military targets in the north.
Earlier on Sunday evening, Israel’s security cabinet held a three-and-a-half-hour session to discuss recent developments in the region, including the tensions with Iran in Syria and the upcoming decision by Trump regarding the nuclear deal.