Top Iran Commander Warns for First Time of Potential Israel War

The commander in chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. for the first time said Israel may attempt to attack the Persian Gulf country, a move he said would result in the Jewish country’s destruction.

“The Zionist regime seeks to go to war with us and it’s unclear when such a war would be,” Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said yesterday in Tehran, according to the state-run Mehr news agency. “They don’t realize that if they undertake this act they will be destroyed.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have indicated that, as Iran proceeds with its nuclear work and negotiations stall, Israel is considering a strike against the country’s atomic facilities. While Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, Israel and the U.S. say the Islamic Republic is trying to build an atomic weapon.

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Feb. 10 said threats of a military strike against the country are “empty.” Iran doesn’t recognize the existence of Israel and Khamenei in a Feb. 3 sermon called the Jewish state a “cancerous tumor.”

“We can’t deny that a war will happen in the future but one must know that it won’t be a repeat of the eight-year war with Iraq” in the 1980’s, Jafari said. “Iran’s armed forces and the Guards now have efficient equipment at their disposal and no country will be able to resist us.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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