If Israel goes from threats to military actions, “it is Israel who will be destroyed,” says a high-ranking Iranian general. This comes as a fresh twist in the war of words that has engrossed Israel and Iran in recent months.
"If the Zionist regime takes any actions against Iran, it would result in the end of its labors," Brigadier General Mostafa Izadi, deputy chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, told the Fars news agency.
Israel cannot harm Iran in the slightest, assured the top military official.
"If they act logically, such threats amount to a psychological war, but if they want to act illogically, it is they who will be destroyed," he added.
The message is a response to Israel’s renewed calls for tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic. As Iran sat down to another round of nuclear talks with world powers last week, Israel issued more calls threatening Iran with military action. Tel Aviv believed Tehran did not take the threat of war seriously.
“The Iranians think this is just a warning. That people are not serious enough,” Israeli President Shimon Peres said in an interview, as the talks kicked off in Moscow.
“If the Iranians understand seriously that this [military action] is an option, maybe we shall not need it. If they think this is a bluff, then it may lead to a war,” he added.
Israel and its Western allies suspect that Tehran is enriching uranium in a bid to secretly create nuclear warheads, though no evidence for such a claim has been presented and most Western experts say otherwise. Tel Aviv has also repeatedly said that it will bomb Iranian nuclear facilities before allowing it to build nukes. Iran insists that it needs enriched uranium for civilian uses.
The Moscow negotiations wrapped up with no breakthrough.
Western powers again demanded that Tehran scale down its nuclear work: to shut down the Fordo underground uranium enrichment facility and ship any stockpile out of the country. In return, Iran was offered enough fuel to meet the country’s medical needs, assistance in nuclear security and lift a ban on spare parts for Iran’s civilian planes.
Iran slammed the proposed deal for having too many demands while offering little in return. Tehran wanted to see relief from strangling economic sanctions, imposed by the EU and US, and an official acknowledgement of its right to enrich uranium before they considered scaling down nuclear activities.
A follow-up meeting is scheduled for July 3.