In video, Iran threatens to raze Tel Aviv, destroy Dimona if Israel hits nuke sites

Revolutionary Guards missile units would hit targets in Israel ‘within 7 minutes of an attack,’ then follow up with 2nd wave of rockets, according to state television video

Illustrative: In this photo released on January 15, 2021, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, missiles are launched in a drill in Iran. (Iranian Revolutionary Guard/Sepahnews via AP)
Illustrative: In this photo released on January 15, 2021, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, missiles are launched in a drill in Iran. (Iranian Revolutionary Guard/Sepahnews via AP)

Iran’s state broadcaster has aired a video describing what it claims would be the response to an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear sites, warning that Israeli targets would be destroyed within minutes and that a follow-up wave of rocket attacks would “raze Tel Aviv.”

The video aired on Iran’s state-controlled IRIB TV2 on December 17, and was reported upon by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute monitor group on Monday.

Israel has vowed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and has repeatedly said it has the right to act in striking Iranian facilities to prevent what it sees as an existential threat.

In the clip, narrator Younes Shadlou began by noting that Israel had recently held exercises with the US to simulate an attack on Iran.

“Let’s assume that Israeli jets manage to reach the Natanz nuclear site in one piece” and manage to damage it, Shadlou posited, referring to a major facility buried under a mountain where Iran has installed advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium.

“Even if they manage to leave Iran’s sky safely,” he continued, it would take the jets “at least an hour” to return to their base.

“The question is whether there would be any base for them to land at,” Shadlou said.

The remarks were followed by footage showing multiple launches of surface-to-surface missiles and impacts on the ground as Shadlou predicted the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps would launch barrages of solid-fuel missiles that “in less than seven minutes will destroy their targets with great accuracy.”

One such target, he said, is “Israel’s nuclear warhead production site in Dimona.” Though Israel has never declared it has nuclear weapons, it is believed to hold an arsenal of such devices, with the Dimona nuclear reactor facility thought to play a key role in development.

After the initial volley, the IRGC would fuel up its strategic missiles in underground silos for a second wave of attacks, Shadlou said.

Liquid fuel is not usually stored inside rockets due to the hazard of keeping volatile materials in the tanks. Instead, the weapons are fueled just before use. By contrast, solid-fuel rockets can be kept ready for immediate launch.

The second wave would leave Dimona “practically destroyed” and Tel Aviv will be “razed to the ground,” Shadlou claimed.

View of the nuclear reactor in Dimona, southern Israel, August 13, 2016. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The video ended with 11-year-old footage of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying that if the Israelis “make even the slightest mistake, the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”

On Saturday, a former top Israeli defense official and Mossad intelligence chief warned that Iran was closer than ever to the ability to produce weapons-grade uranium and Israel should be prepared to carry out a strike.

Zohar Palti said Israel has the military capabilities to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, noting that it need not necessarily await an American green light — but would need to make “serious decisions” regarding whether it wants to lead such an offense.

“I am not implying that Israel is capable, I am saying it is,” he stated, though he stressed the importance of coordinating with Washington.

“If we do reach such a scenario… it won’t be a matter of [Israelis’ differences of opinion on] politics or religion. Lebanon has more than 100,000 rockets and Iran possesses precision-guided missiles. The Israeli home front will suffer… Israel will need to function as one fist,” he said.

Iran’s Lebanon-based proxy Hezbollah is believed to have over 100,000 missiles that the terror group has threatened to use against Israel, as it has done in past conflicts with the IDF.

Israeli F-35i and American F-15 jets hold an exercise over Israel, November 29, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Iran’s state media announced last month that it had begun producing enriched uranium at 60% purity at the country’s underground Fordo nuclear plant, in addition to enrichment to the same level at a plant in Natanz that it said had begun in 2019.

Enrichment to 60% purity is a short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%. Nonproliferation experts have warned in recent months that Iran now has enough 60%-enriched uranium to reprocess into fuel for at least one nuclear bomb.

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