‘We will strike Tel Aviv if Israel attacks,’ senior Iranian cleric vows

‘We will strike Tel Aviv if Israel attacks,’ senior Iranian cleric vows

Head of policy-making council threatens retribution for any aggression against Tehran’s nuclear facilities

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

The Tel Aviv skyline (photo credit: Roni Schutzer/Flash90)
The Tel Aviv skyline (photo credit: Roni Schutzer/Flash90)

Tehran will attack Tel Aviv if Israel makes the slightest aggression against the Islamic Republic, senior Iranian cleric Hojjatoleslam Seyed Reza Taqavi said at Friday prayers, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

“If Israel makes a mistake, we will attack the heart of Tel Aviv from Tehran,” Taqavi, Head of the Policy-Making Council of Iran, said.

“They do not dare to damage our nuclear centers and know very well that any move against the Islamic Republic will make them regret it,” he emphasized.

The direct threat towards Israel came after a tense week in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran on Thursday of perpetrating a bombing in Bulgaria the day before that killed five Israelis and wounded dozens more. Iran vehemently denied the charge, although Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared to intimate that it had been revenge for ostensible Israeli attacks on Iran’s nuclear scientists.

“The most dangerous state on earth must not attain the most dangerous weapon,” Netanyahu said, in reference to Iran’s nuclear drive.

Israel has long indicated that a military strike against Iran might be necessary to stop the regime’s nuclear program should diplomatic efforts fail. Iran contends that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

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