The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Aerospace Force said Thursday that Israel is “doomed to termination” and that any move by Jerusalem against the Islamic Republic will expedite that demise.
Israeli security chiefs have ramped up their rhetoric against Iran, with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi warning Tuesday that the military was boosting its preparations for a possible attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.
The same day, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel would carry out operations that “haven’t been seen in the past” if regional war breaks out.
Speaking at a ceremony in Tehran, Amir Ali Hajizadeh mocked Israel for being the “only regime in the world arguing about how to survive,” according to Iran’s Tasnim news agency.
“The (Zionist) regime that discusses its existence is doomed to termination and cannot talk about destroying other countries,” Hajizadeh was quoted as saying.
“Our enemies say we should negotiate on missiles… and our drones have become splinters in their eyes,” he said.
“If they insist on limiting the capabilities of our missiles and drones, it shows our strength,” Hajizadeh was quoted as saying on the Guards’ Sepahnews website.
“We don’t need to mention our strength because the enemy talks enough about Iran’s missiles and defensive capabilities,” he added.
In response to the recent remarks by Israeli officials, he said the Jewish state “may be able to start a battle, but it is the Islamic Republic that will end it with the termination of the Zionist regime. If the Zionist regime gives the Islamic Republic an excuse, it will only expedite its termination.”
The Israeli Air Force is expected to resume practicing for a strike on Iran’s nuclear program.
In January, Kohavi announced he had instructed the military to begin drawing up fresh attack plans for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, and last month the government reportedly allocated billions of shekels toward making those plans viable.
In his comments on Thursday, Hajizadeh said Israeli “threats” against Iran, especially against its nuclear facilities, were statements meant for “internal consumption.”
“The Israelis can launch (an attack on Iran) but we will decide the outcome,” he said.
Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister said Wednesday that Tehran was ready to reach a “good agreement” on the nuclear issue at negotiations due to get underway in Vienna later this month.
In a tweet, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said his deputy and chief negotiator Ali Bagheri was “engaged in successful talks in Europe,” where he is visiting London, Paris and Berlin this week.
“At the negotiating table in Vienna, we are ready to deliver a good agreement,” the foreign minister wrote. “The return of all parties to their commitments is an important and leading principle.”
Talks to restore the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers are due to resume in Vienna on November 29, after a suspension since June.
In recent months, Iran has dragged its feet on returning to indirect negotiations with the United States about a mutual return to the 2015 nuclear deal, which then-US president Donald Trump abrogated in 2018 and Iran abandoned a year later.
Last week, Iranian officials said they planned to return to the talks by the end of November, but US President Joe Biden’s administration has expressed growing impatience and threatened to explore “other options” should the negotiations fail.