Iran’s top Revolutionary Guards commander, Major General Hossein Salami, warned on Monday that destroying arch-enemy Israel was an “achievable goal”.
“This sinister regime must be wiped off the map and this is no longer … a dream (but) it is an achievable goal,” he said, quoted by the Guards’ Sepah news site.
Four decades on from Iran’s Islamic revolution, “we have managed to obtain the capacity to destroy the imposter Zionist regime”, he said.
Salami’s comments, while not unusual for Iranian officials, come amid particularly heightened international tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and a series of incidents that have raised fears of a confrontation between Tehran and its other main regional rival, Riyadh.
The United States, which withdrew from the Obama-negotiated JCPOA agreement between Iran and world powers in 2018, has imposed a campaign of “maximum pressure” — with vocal support from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Salami’s comments were carried by the MEHR news agency.
The official IRNA agency also carried his remarks, but placed more emphasis on his assertion that Iran was growing stronger and would finally beat its foes despite “hostility” towards it.
Iran has been consistently hostile towards Israel since its 1979 revolution, and Tehran openly supports anti-Israeli armed groups including Palestinian Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
In November 2018, leader Hassan Rouhani reaffirmed Tehran’s long-held position Israel is “a malignant cancerous tumor that must be removed and eradicated.”
Rouhani said in an address at an annual Islamic Unity Conference that Israel was a “fake regime” set up by Western countries.
“One of the ominous results of World War II was the formation of a cancerous tumor in the region,” he said, according to English quotes published a state-affiliated agency.
Iranian generals routinely express the desire to destroy Israel or claim to be able to wipe out Tel Aviv and General Salami in particular is known for making bold statement of Iranian intent.
Earlier this month he said Iran has special “hidden” military powers it is ready to unleash at any moment on an unsuspecting world, as Breitbart News reported.
Salami offered no evidence to back his claim of the so-called “hidden” powers of military persuasion.
Instead he warned enemies of his country of secret capabilities of Iran, adding Tehran has significantly enhanced its military power to create threats and problems unknown and unexpected for anyone who opposes it.
“Our enemies must know that we have increased our capability of creating unknown threats. We have not yet disclosed our main sources of power and what they have seen and we have used so far is a small part of our capacities,” the major general said.
AFP contributed to this story