The Iranian armed forces are now ready to reduce Tel Aviv and Haifa to rubble if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei orders it, Iranian Defense Minister General Amir Hatami said today.

Israel has been making threats against Iran, he added, but as the Supreme Leader said years ago, “the Zionist regime is not our [most powerful] enemy and if it makes a big mistake the Islamic Republic of Iran will destroy and annihilate Tel Aviv and Haifa.”

General Hatami assured his audience that the Islamic Republic has everything at its disposal to protect Iran’s security and stability. He specifically mentioned the country’s soft power in the region, which is exercised through anti-Israeli “resistance groups”.

In September 2015, after nuclear negotiations were concluded, Khamenei predicted that Israel would not exist in 25 years. “After nuclear negotiations the Zionist regime said they would not be worried about Iran for the next 25 years,” he wrote. “I am telling you, firstly, you will not be around in 25 years’ time, and, God willing, there will be no Zionist regime in 25 years. Secondly, during this period the spirit of fighting, heroism and jihad will keep you worried every moment.”

Subsequently Khamenei and various military commanders repeated similar threats against Israel, and in a number of cities in Iran such as Tehran and Mashhad billboards were put up that showed the days remaining until Israel disappears from the face of the earth. 

Khamenei has been threatening Israel constantly for many years. For instance, in May 2020, after the coronavirus outbreak was officially confirmed by Iran, Khamenei said “the Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor in the region. The long-lasting virus of Zionists will be eliminated.”

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