Iranian military and political heads center speeches on threats against Israel and the United States, denial of domestic crises; Israel and US respond directly to threats; Netanyahu: If Iran attacks Tel Aviv or Haifa, it would be the last anniversary of the revolution that they celebrate.
Iranians took to the streets commemorating 40 years since the Islamic Revolution on Monday, military and political leadership delivering speeches and threats against Israel and the United States.
Just one day ahead of the US-sponsored Warsaw summit, senior deputy of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps political bureau, Brig. Gen. Yadollah Javani, threatened the United States and Israel, claiming “The United States does not have the courage to shoot a single bullet at us despite all its defensive and military assets. But if they attack us, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”
He made the threats during a rally at Tehran’s Azadi Square, the general, alongside President Hassan Rouhani, continuing with their anti-Israel and anti-United States rhetoric, delivering speeches to the thousands. As with each year, crowds chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”, while burning Israeli and American flags.
Rouhani centered his speech on Iran’s defiance amidst the Trump Administration’s sanctions and calls from the global community to curb its ballistic missile program. Despite the worst economic crisis facing the Iranian people to date, he claimed Monday “The Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties, but we will overcome the problems by helping each other.”
Specifically on Iran’s missile program, one of the main agendas of the Warsaw conference, the Iranian premier stated, “We have not asked, and will never ask for permission in developing our missile arsenal as we continue to pursue our path to military might.”
Iran continues to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, many of its actions and hidden programs in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (nuclear deal). Iran is forbidden to produce, create or launch ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
This year alone, Iran failed to launch two satellites into space and confirmed it successfully tested its latest long-range cruise missile, the Hoveizeh. The missile is capable of reaching 1,350 kilometers and was tested as part of celebrations marking the 1979 Islamic Revolution. On Sunday, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran announced that Iran is both capable and prepared to boost its uranium enrichment at 20% purity, an increase from the 3.67% enrichment permitted under the nuclear deal in 2015.
Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to the Iranian general’s threats in a televised address Monday, stating “I do not ignore the threats of the Iranian regime, but neither am I intimidated by them. If this regime makes the awful mistake of trying to destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa, it will not succeed. However, this would be the last anniversary of the revolution that they celebrate. They should take this into account.”
On Monday, US National Security Adviser John Bolton addressed Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, directly, while responding to threats made on the United States. He stated, “This week, Iran marks the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, and what a 40 years it’s been. Tyrannizing its own people and terrorizing the world. Iran continues to seek nuclear weapons, to intimidate peaceful people all around the globe and ballistic missiles to use as delivery systems.”
He added, “Iran under the Ayatollahs remains the central banker of international terrorism, and its conventional military forces are all over the Middle East, in Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Perhaps worst of all, the people of Iran have suffered grievously. Right now, unemployment is at record levels, inflation is at all-time highs, the Iranian currency has gone through the floor. So, Ayatollah Khamenei, for all your boasts, for all your threats to the life of the American President, you are responsible for terrorizing your own people and terrorizing the world as a whole. I don’t think you’ll have many more anniversaries to enjoy.”
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