Iranian Official: Tel Aviv, Haifa ‘Will Be Destroyed’ if Israel Attacks

An Iranian clergyman passes anti-Israeli posters, during activities marking the 10th anniversary of the assassination of the late Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader, Fathi Shaqaqi in Tehran, 30 October 2005. Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted today that his controversial call for Israel to be 'wiped off the map' was nothing …
BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty

Iran stands ready to destroy Israel and warned it to avoid any “stupid” measures against the Islamic Republic, the Iranian Supreme Leader’s envoy to the elite Quds Force military wing warned.

“If Israel wants to continue its treacherous existence … it should avoid stupid measures. If they give excuses to Iran, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be destroyed,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative Ali Shirazi was quoted by the Fars news agency on Thursday. “Iran can destroy Israel.”

The Quds Force is Iran’s espionage and paramilitary wing, prosecuting overseas operations on behalf of the elite Revolutionary Guards. It has long been a foe of Israel and stands accused of aiding and abetting the actions of Syrian government forces:

Iran has repeatedly threatened Israel that it could wipe it from the map of the Middle East if provoked. As recently as February, Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, warned Israel that any attacks carried out against Iran will result in the complete destruction of Tel Aviv.

Thursday’s threat followed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling Iran “not to test Israel’s resolve,” while speaking at a state ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem.

Mr. Netanyahu was repeating a message he delivered in February, at the Munich Security Conference, which was also attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, where he told Iran not to pressure the Jewish state.

“Israel will not allow Iran’s regime to put a noose of terror around our neck,” he added. “We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves. And we will act if necessary not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself.”

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