In a Saturday interview with the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV station, a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) promised to “raze Tel-Aviv to the ground” if Iran is ever attacked.
“If [the U.S. does] something, we can use it as a pretext to attack Israel, because Israel played a role in the martyrdom of General Soleimani,” said Mohsen Rezaei, according to an interview translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
“It was the Israelis who reported the martyr Soleimani’s trip from Damascus to Baghdad. We are waiting for the Americans to give us a pretext to strike Tel-Aviv, just like we attacked Ayn Al-Assad,” he added.
In January, Rezaei similarly threatened to attack Israel over the assassination of former IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani.
He told a crowd in Tehran that the Israeli city of Haifa and other Israeli cities could be targeted.
“Rest assured we will level to the ground Haifa and Israeli centers so that Israel will be wiped out,” Rezaei said at the time. “The issue is very serious for the Iranian nation. You hit us and you should get hit. You attacked us and it is the Iranian nation’s right.”
He also alleged without offering evidence that Israel leaked information to the U.S. about Soleimani’s whereabouts, which allowed them to carry out the drone strike that killed him.
Rezai was the chief commander of the IRGC during the first Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and unsuccessfully ran for president in 2005, 2009 and 2012.