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Iranian military official threatens to 'flatten Tel Aviv' from Lebanon

An Iranian woman looks at a street exhibit, during Iran's 'Defence Week' in September [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 December, 2019

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Morteza Qurbani, an advisor in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, declared Iran's forces were on standby to destroy Tel Aviv from Lebanon, following suggestions of pre-emptive Israeli strikes against Iran.

A special advisor to the commander of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, threatened to raise Tel Aviv to the ground from Lebanon on Tuesday, angering officials in Beirut.

Morteza Qurbani, the former advisor to the Iranian chief of staff, vowed action against the “smallest provocation [from Israel]” which he said would prompt the Islamic Republic to “flatten Tel Aviv from Lebanon, without even having to launch missiles from Iran”.

Speaking to Mizan Online News Agency, he emphasised that the “fingers” of the Iranian forces were on the “triggers” as they awaited orders from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Once orders are issued, Iran will launch its missiles and “all the Zionists will raise their hands and surrender,” he suggested.

Lebanese Defence Minister Elias Bou Saab, a member of a movement aligned with Iran-backed Hezbollah, immediately dismissed Ghorbani’s comments, describing them as “regrettable and unacceptable” and infringing “on the sovereignty of Lebanon.”

While Iran enjoys a friendly relationship with Lebanon, the minister made clear it could not “undermine in any way” Lebanon's independence and sovereignty.

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s caretaker information minister, Jamal Jarrah, expressed even harsher opposition. Qurbani’s comments were an attack on the “sovereignty of Lebanon as a people and as a state,” Jarrah said. 

“Iran tries to defend itself as it wishes; however, Lebanon is not a [messenger] for the IRGC or an arena for any foreign country,” Jarrah posted in a tweet online.

The Iranian millitary advisor’s fiery outburst is likely a response to statements made by Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera on Friday.

When prompted about the possibility of pre-emptive strikes against Iran, Katz told the newspaper that direct millitary action remained an “option” for Israel.

On his official Twitter account on Tuesday, he reaffirmed his position. 

Meanwhile on Sunday, Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennet  threatened to turn Syria into Iran’s “Vietnam” and vowed that Israel would never allow its arch-foe Iran to obtain a permanent base inside Syria.

Exchanges between the sworn enemies comes at a time of heightened tensions within Iran and the states within its sphere of influence.

Iran sees the recent protests in Iraq and Lebanon as the work of its enemies, namely the UK, US and Israel, to undermine the strength of the so-called Shia “Axis of Resistance”, which it leads.

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