Iran threatens to destroy Israeli cities as regional tensions simmer

Tehran, Apr 18 (EFE).- Iran threatened to destroy the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa should Israel commit the “slightest mistake” against the Islamic Republic, according to a Tuesday presidential statement.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi issued the warning during a military parade to mark the country’s National Army Day in Tehran.

“The enemies of the Islamic Revolution, especially the Zionist regime, have received this message that the slightest move against our country will be responded with a harsh response and will be accompanied by the destruction of Haifa and Tel Aviv,” he said.

Raisi also called on the United States to withdraw its troops from the region because “it is in their own interest,” according to Iran’s state-owned news channel Press TV.

“The presence of foreign forces threatens regional security but our armed forces provide security wherever they are present in the region,” he added.

In an apparent reference to Saudi Arabia, Raisi stressed that his armed forces have been shaking hands with nations in a bid to “improve security in the region.”

On March 10, Tehran and Riyadh agreed to resume bilateral relations after years of diplomatic estrangement. Both countries are struggling for political and military influence in the region.

The deal, brokered by China, was sealed during a meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers in Beijing.

Iran and Israel have long waged a covert war that has intensified in recent months.

Israeli airstrikes targeted areas near the Syrian capital Damascus four times in recent weeks killing two members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, an elite force that has vowed to take revenge.

Missilies targetting Israel have also been fired from The Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and Syria.

Raisi’s comments came as Reza Pahlavi, son of the last shah to rule Iran before he was deposed in the 1979 Islamic Revolution, visited Israel.

Pahlavi, who considers himself the country’s crown prince, met with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to renew old ties Tel Aviv and Tehran maintained when his father, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, reigned.EFE


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