Israel will be annihilated in half an hour if the United States retaliates against Iran over a string of unprovoked attacks, a senior Iranian lawmaker warned  Monday in an interview with a Tehran-based Arabic language network.
“If the U.S. attacks us, only half an hour will remain of Israel’s lifespan,” said Mojtaba Zolnour, the chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.
Zolnour also refuted U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent claim that he had called off a military strike on Iran to spare innocent lives. “If they [the Americans] had predicted their attack would be successful, they would not have canceled it and it would definitely have happened,” the official charged.
The U.S. has repeatedly said that it seeks no military escalation with Iran, while at the same time taking all appropriate and effective measures to protect American interests in the region. The White House said  Monday that it would continue to apply “maximum pressure” on Iran “until its leaders alter their course of action.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitors Iran‘s nuclear program, confirmed earlier that the Iranian regime has amassed more low-enriched uranium than permitted under its 2015 nuclear accord with world powers.
A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “Such action by the Islamic Republic of Iran would not help preserve the plan, nor secure the tangible economic benefits for the Iranian people.”
The news came against the backdrop of heightened regional tensions due to a string of unprovoked attacks by Iran against the United States and Arab allies. On Monday, the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency confirmed  that the Islamic Republic was behind attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.
Yossi Cohen said, “I can tell you, with certainty, from the best sources of Israeli and Western intelligence, that Iran is behind the attacks.” He added that the attacks “were approved by the Iranian leadership, and were carried out, at least mostly, by the Revolutionary Guard and their surrogates.”