By JPOST.COM STAFF AND AP Oct 9, 2009 11:44
Iran will "blow up the heart of Israel" if the United States or the Jewish state attacked it first, a top official with Iran's most powerful military force, the Revolutionary Guard, warned Friday.
In this photo released by the Iranian semi-official Mehr News Agency, Revolutionary Guard's Zelzal missile is launched in a drill near the city of Qom, 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Teheran, Iran.
Cleric Mojtaba Zolnour, who is the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's representative in the Guard, said that if a US or Israeli missile lands in Iran, Iranian missiles will hit Israel in retaliation.
"Should a single American or Zionist missile land in our country, before the dust settles, Iranian missiles will blow up the heart of Israel," Zolnour was quoted as saying by the state IRNA news agency.
In March, Iran's deputy army chief made similar remarks, warning that his country will eliminate Israel if it attacks the Islamic republic.
"Should Israel take any action against Iran, we will eliminate Israel from the scene of the universe," Gen. Muhammad Reza Ashtiani said at the time in Teheran.
Ashtiani claimed Israel was "very vulnerable" and dismissed allegations that Iran was worried about Israeli maneuvers.
"Due to its special conditions, Israel is very vulnerable in the region," he said. "The aggressors will face a crushing response."
Herb Keinon contributed to this report