The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said Monday that destroying arch-rival Israel has become an “achievable goal” thanks to his country’s technological advances.
“This sinister regime must be wiped off the map and this is no longer… a dream (but) it is an achievable goal,” Major General Hossein Salami 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 programme 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 a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in 2018, has imposed a campaign of “maximum pressure” — with vocal support from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The comments by the commander of Iran’s ideological army were given prominent coverage by the Tasnim and Fars news agencies, close to ultra-conservative political factions.
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.
In contrast, foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi in a tweet wished “Happy (Jewish) New Year to our Jewish compatriots and to all true followers of great prophet Moses (PBUH)”, an acronym for ‘peace be upon him.’
Mousavi’s greeting was written in Persian, English and Hebrew.
Iran only has a few thousand Jews left compared to between 80,000 and 100,000 before its 1979 revolution.