Iranian officials appear committed to reinforcing the notion that, should the West strike the Iranian-allied Bashar al-Assad regime Syria, Israel would be attacked in turn.
Iranian officials have longed issued explicitly genocidal threats against the Jewish state in the context of attacks on Syria. Hossein Sheikholeslam, the director of parliament’s International Affairs Committee, earlier this week threatened that Israel would be the “first victim” of any strike on Syria.
And now, perhaps for emphasis, Mansur Haqiqatpur, who The New York Times describes as “an influential member of Parliament”:
Iranian hard-liners often say Syria is Iran’s first trench in a potential war with hostile Western powers. Iran has blamed Israel for the conflict in Syria, saying Israel is trying to bring down Mr. Assad. “In case of a U.S. military strike against Syria, the flames of outrage of the region’s revolutionaries will point toward the Zionist regime,” the semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Mansur Haqiqatpur, an influential member of Parliament, as saying on Tuesday.
The eliminationist rhetoric – to say nothing of the explicit, repeated, and consistent threats against a close American ally – are unlikely to boost the cases of analysts who suggest that moderates in Iran may prevail in shifting the Islamic republic’s foreign policy posture.
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