“The armed forces are delivering their best services and no threat frightens Iran,” Iran’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, said on Tuesday, as quoted by Iranian news agency IRNA.
Bagheri’s comments come just a day after he said that Iran would respond to any Israeli attacks “at an appropriate time.”
“If the enemy casts a covetous eye on our interests or conducts [even] a slight act of aggression, the Islamic Republic will give an appropriate response at an appropriate time,” Bagheri said, as cited by state media. “The defense power and strength of the Iranian Armed Forces have made the enemy come to the conclusion that any aggression against the country would have no outcome except casualties and expenses and that it would be impossible for it to achieve any of its objectives.”
On the Israeli side, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran on Tuesday of plotting the destruction of the Jewish state, claiming that the Islamic Republic “openly calls, daily, for the destruction, the elimination of Israel from the face of the earth and practices unmitigated aggression against us.”
“It is now seeking to plant very dangerous weapons in Syria … for the specific purpose of our destruction,” Netanyahu said.
On Monday, Israel’s energy minister said that Israel was prepared to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad if he allows Iranian or Iranian-linked forces to attack them from Syria. Yuval Steinitz warned that “if Assad allows Iran to turn Syria into a military base against us and attack us on Syrian soil, he must know that it is his end and the end of his regime and he will not remain ruler of Syria or president of Syria.”
Israel has been bracing for retaliatory strikes after attacking the T-4 army base in Syria on April 9, reportedly killing several members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Bagheri vowed that Iran would respond to the attack, stressing that Tehran’s “silence” should not be misinterpreted.
“Not responding to some events in past few days, doesn’t mean [our] silence,” Bagheri said, according to Iranian media.
Last month, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Israel was prepared to strike Tehran if Iranian forces targeted Tel Aviv.