TEL AVIV – The Iranian defense minister has warned that President-elect Donald Trump could trigger a world war that will “destroy” Israel and small Gulf Arab states if he pulls out of the nuclear deal.
Hussein Dehghan said on Sunday that Trump’s choice to take a “different path” has led to “unease, particularly among U.S. allies in the Gulf,” the state-controlled Mehr news agency reported.
He said, “Enemies may want to impose a war on us based on false calculations and only taking into consideration their material capabilities.”
“Such a war would mean the destruction of the Zionist regime [Israel] … and will engulf the whole region and could lead to a world war,” Dehghan said.
“Among other consequences of the war, would be the destruction of the city-states on the southern shore of the Persian Gulf, because they lack popular support,” he added, in reference to Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE.
However, Dehghan added that he was doubtful Trump would go through with his threat to “rip to shreds” the nuclear deal signed with six major world powers in 2015.
“Considering Trump’s character and that he measures the cost of everything in dollars, it does not seem likely that he would take strong action against our country,” Dehghan said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meanwhile, expressed his hope that the president-elect would back out of the deal, saying there were “about five things in my mind” that could undo the agreement with the JCPOA. While he would not elaborate on the nature of those things, he added that there are “many more” options in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
“I know Donald Trump. And I think his attitude, his support for Israel is clear. He feels very warmly about the Jewish state, about the Jewish people,” Netanyahu told CBS’ 60 Minutes.
Last month, the outgoing director of the CIA, John Brennan, warned that Trump’s promise to scrap the deal was the “height of folly.”
“I think it would be disastrous,” he told the BBC. “It really would: for one administration to tear up an agreement that a previous administration made would be almost unprecedented.”
Breitbart Jerusalem reported last week that senior Iranian clerics threatened “retaliation” against “U.S. violations” of the deal.
In October, one of the founders of the IRGC, Mohsen Rafighdoost, warned that if the U.S. tried anything against Iran, it would deploy nine million troops to fight U.S. forces.
Rafighdoost added that Iran has “warehouses” full of missiles ready to “flatten” Tel Aviv.