Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has warned that Israel will be targeted by his country’s armed forces if it makes “the tiniest move” against Iran.
He spoke as talks stalled in Vienna over a deal to rein in Iran’s nuclear capabilities, which Tehran says are used for peaceful purposes.
Israel opposes a deal, saying it does not do enough to curb Iran’s nuclear programme or its military activities across the region.
Israeli officials have said they will unilaterally do what is necessary to protect their country.
Mr Raisi addressed Israel directly during a speech at an annual parade of Iran’s armed forces.
“If the tiniest move by you happens against nation of Iran, centre of the Zionist regime will be destination of our armed forces,” Mr Raisi said, referring to Tel Aviv.
He did not elaborate but said Iran watches any move by Israel “closely”.
Iran has not recognised Israel since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ousted the pro-West monarchy and brought Islamists to power. It supports anti-Israeli militant groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
Mr Raisi said that Iran’s military power is a deterrent and that the army has managed to improve its capabilities despite years of sanctions on the country over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Monday’s parade showcased jet fighters, helicopters, drones and air defence systems as well as tanks, missiles and naval vessels.
Israel in recent years improved relations with neighbouring Arab nations in the Persian Gulf, which has angered Iran’s leaders.
Tehran has blamed Israel for the sabotage of its nuclear sites and assassinations of its nuclear scientists.
The nuclear deal collapsed four years ago when former president Donald Trump withdrew the United States and imposed crushing sanctions on Iran. In the meantime, Iran has vastly expanded its nuclear work.
US intelligence agencies believe Iran had an organised military nuclear programme until 2003. Iran insists its programme is aimed at generating power and for medical purposes.
Source » messengernewspapers