Senior Iranian hardline cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami warned the U.S. against attacking Iran, threatening on Wednesday that Israel and other American allies would be directly targeted if it did.
Khatami delivered his warning as he told worshippers attending Eid prayers in Tehran that President Donald Trump’s offer of talks with Iranian leaders was rejected, as the U.S. leader wanted Tehran to concede on its missile program and regional influence.
“Americans say you should accept what we say in the talks. So this is not negotiation, but dictatorship. The Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation would stand up against dictatorship,” Khatami was quoted as saying by Mehar news agency. He also condemned the U.S. withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal as “inhuman.”
“The price of a war with Iran is very high for America. They know if they harm this country and this state in the slightest way, the United States and its main ally in the region, the Zionist regime (of Israel) would be targeted,” Khatami said.
This is not the first time the cleric, a leader in Iran’s Assembly of Experts, has threatened Israel. Last April he warned that terror proxy Hezbollah has powerful new missiles that could “turn Haifa and Tel Aviv into ghost-towns.”
Citing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s prediction that Israel will not survive another 25 years, Khatami added: “Perhaps it is God’s will that, with all the madness they are causing [in Gaza, Israel] will be destroyed.”
Khatami most recent warning comes just 24 hours after the country unveiled its first domestic fighter jet.
President Hassan Rouhani used the occasion to insist that Tehran’s military strength was only designed to deter enemies and was aimed at creating “lasting peace”.
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