MidEast

On Eve of U.S.-Israel Talks, Iranian Army Chief Vows to Destroy Israel at “Lightning Speed”

Iran’s Army Commander in Chief, Major General Seyyed Abdolrahim Mousavi, threatened to destroy Israel “at lightning speed” in a series of comments made on the eve of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s meeting with United States President Donald Trump.

Trump and Netanyahu are expected to discuss the grave threat posed by Iran during their meeting at a time the Trump administration is preparing a case to decertify Iran’s compliance with the international nuclear deal, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday. Netanyahu is also slated to raise concerns over the growing Iranian presence in Syria.

“We will destroy the Zionist entity at lightning speed, and thus shorten the 25 years it still has left,” Mousavi was quoted by the semi-official Fars News Agency in reference to a recurring threat by the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to annihilate Israel in the next quarter century.

“I warn the [Zionist] entity not to make any stupid move against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Mousavi added. “Every [such] stupid act will [make us] turn Tel Aviv and Haifa into dust,” he threatened.

Like Israel, President Trump has opposed the nuclear agreement with Iran from the outset. “The Iran idea is one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen, certainly at a minimum the spirit of the deal is just atrociously kept,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One last week.

The President also warned on Monday, ahead of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s annual meeting in Vienna, that his administration will walk away from the agreement if it feels the UN body is not putting enough pressure on the regime in Tehran to guarantee compliance.  

On Sunday, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded to the sharp criticism coming out of the White House by threatening that Tehran would react strongly to any “wrong move” by Washington on the nuclear agreement.  

Meanwhile, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has said that cooperating with Tehran while it “calls for Israel’s destruction” flies in the face of Western values. “The fact that Iran continue to regain more and more legitimacy, while Iranian leadership continue to call for Israel’s destruction is unacceptable,” Rivlin told foreign diplomats at his residence in Jerusalem.

Israel’s destruction in 25 years is a common topic discussed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other top Iranian officials.

In Tehran, the regime displayed a “clock” with a countdown towards Israel’s destruction in about 23 years. The timeline is similar to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s prediction in 2015 that Israel will not exist in 25 years. He made a similar prediction in 2016.

An Iranian general threatened last year that the Shiite army that Iran is creating will destroy Israel in 23 years.

[Photo: Tasnim News ]