Any new war in the Middle East “will lead to the eradication of the Zionist regime,” the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps declared on Thursday, according to the semi-official state news agency Fars.
Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari asserted to reporters in Tehran — saw “a part of the resistance front’s power during the 33-day and 22-day wars (the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead) and today that the great resistance front has been formed, this word has been proven.”
“The fate of the resistance front is interwoven and they all stand united and if Israel attacks a part of it, the other component of the front will help it,” Jafari claimed.
General Jafari warned that Lebanon is Israel’s first target, and said therefore the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance group should be armed against it to maintain security in Lebanon. He also warned that the Zionist regime is no more a threat to Iran and the least mistake by it would be the last one.
“This issue is not negotiable and the entire Lebanese nation, except a number of little puppet groups, support Hezbollah’s weapon,” he added.
Jafari’s comments follow an Arab League meeting in Cairo on Sunday, called by Saudi Arabia, during which Arab foreign ministers condemned both Iran and Hezbollah for their role in spreading violence in the region. In a joint declaration, opposed only by Lebanon and Iraq, the umbrella organization accused Hezbollah of “supporting terrorism and extremist groups in Arab countries with advanced weapons and ballistic missiles.” Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that “Iranian threats have gone beyond all limits and pushed the region into a dangerous abyss.”
The role of Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon and the wider Middle East has been at the forefront of regional politics since Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s sudden resignation on November 4 sparked a sharp rise in tensions between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite and following the recent launch of a missile from Yemen at Riyadh — an “act of war” that Saudi Arabia blamed on Iran-backed Hezbollah.
In an interview published last week by the Saudi newspaper Elaph, the chief of staff of the Israeli military, Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot, said the IDF had no intention of initiating an offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon, and accused Iran of seeking to escalate tensions there.
Meanwhile, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted on Thursday by the semi-official state news agency Mehr as calling Israel a “cancerous tumor” that “should be fought against.”
“Enemies of Islam have managed to baffle the Muslim world by staging war and creating discord, providing the enemy with more security in the region. In Western Asia, the Zionist regime thrives in a safe haven, while Muslims are pitted against one another. Wherever there is a need for our presence, we will provide help and are not afraid to say so. We’ll have no inhibitions when confronting arrogant powers,” Khamenei stated at a conference in the Iranian capital.
Both Jafari and Khamenei are no strangers to threatening Israel. Jafari has in the past threatened that the IRGC would target American and Israeli bases in the region if his country were to be attacked. Last year, he said that Israel is “in range of most of our missiles,” warning Iran’s “enemies” to be “afraid of the IRGC missiles.”