Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of Iran’s Basij militia, said in an interview that “erasing Israel off the map” is “nonnegotiable,” The Times of Israel reported today.
Naqdi’s comments were made public as Iran and six world powers prepared Tuesday to issue a general statement agreeing to continue nuclear negotiations in a new phase aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord by the end of June.
Fars News, an official Iranian news outlet, quoted Naqdi threatening both Saudi Arabia and the United States.
“Imposing war on Yemen will, God willingly, have no result other than Saddam’s fate for the aggressors and the US that is the direct sponsor of this crime will have to leave the region forever after losing its puppet, the Al Saud regime,” Brigadier General Naqdi said in a statement on the occasion of the anniversary of the Islamic Republic Day in Tehran on Tuesday.
Naqdi has a long record of threatening Israel. In 2013, Naqdi hailed the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt as a harbinger of increased attacks on Israel: “Hezbollah and Hamas have created a solid block against [Israel] and now the Egyptian people’s revolution is completing this (axis of) resistance.” A month later, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs highlighted Naqdi’s vow to fight “until the annihilation of Israel,” calling it one of the top twenty threats made by Iran’s leaders against Israel.
Last year Naqdi promised that his militia would “be dispatched to Syria and Gaza Strip and they have come to us (for registration)… (in order to get) the necessary training and skills… we also try to implement the same plan in the West Bank, God willing.” In January of this year, Naqdi said, “freedom of Haifa and Tel Aviv is much easier for us than the 33-day and 22-day wars (between Israel and the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance forces) since the Zionist army’s doctrine is based on an offensive strategy and it has spent 60 years of its despicable and evil life with this doctrine.”
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