A senior Iranian lawmaker on Monday threatened that Israel would be destroyed in “half an hour” if the United States attacks the Islamic Republic.
“If the US attacks us, only half an hour will remain of Israel’s lifespan,” said Mojtaba Zolnour, chairman of Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, in comments carried by the Mehr news agency.
Iran acknowledged Monday it had broken the limit set on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by the 2015 nuclear deal, marking its first major departure from the unraveling agreement a year after the US unilaterally withdrew from the accord.
The announcement came as tensions remain high between Iran and the US. In recent weeks, the wider Persian Gulf has seen Iran shoot down a US military surveillance drone, mysterious attacks on oil tankers and Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen launching bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia.
The state-run IRNA news agency quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as making the uranium announcement. IRNA reported that Zarif, answering a reporter’s question whether Iran had broken the limit, said: “Yes.”
“If Europeans do what they have to do, our measures are reversible,” Zarif said, according to IRNA.
Zarif did not say how much low-enriched uranium Iran had on hand, IRNA said.
Also Monday, the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency said Iran was behind a string of recent attacks on targets across the Persian Gulf.
Speaking at an annual security conference in Israel on Monday, Yossi Cohen said, “I can tell you, with certainty, from the best sources of Israeli and Western intelligence, that Iran is behind the attacks.”
Cohen mentioned recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, oil fields in Saudi Arabia and in Baghdad. He said the attacks “were approved by the Iranian leadership, and were carried out, at least mostly, by the Revolutionary Guard and their surrogates.”
Israel has long seen Iran as its greatest threat. Iranian officials regularly threaten to destroy the Jewish state.