Tehran warns Israel about making “smallest move” against Iran

Iran’s Tehran (AP) —Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi warned on Monday that Israel would be the target of its troops if it made the “smallest move” against Iran.

He said talks in Vienna were stalled over an arrangement to curb Iran’s nuclear capabilities that Tehran is being used for peaceful purposes. Israel opposes the agreement, saying it is not enough to curb Iran’s nuclear program and military activity across the region. Israeli officials said they would unilaterally do what was necessary to protect their country.

Raisi addressed Israel directly during his speech at the Iranian army’s annual parade.

“If your smallest move happens to the country of Iran, the center of the Zionist regime will be the destination of our troops,” Raisi said, referring to Tel Aviv.

Laisi did not elaborate, but said Iran was “carefully” watching Israel’s move.

Iran has not recognized Israel since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which banished the pro-West monarchy and put Islamists in power. Support anti-Israeli extremist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

Raishi said Iran’s military power is a deterrent. He said the military managed to improve its capabilities despite years of sanctions on Tehran’s nuclear program. The parade on Monday exhibited jet fighters, helicopters, drones, air defense systems, as well as military tanks, missiles, and naval vessels.

In recent years, Israel has improved relations with neighboring Arab countries in the Persian Gulf and offended Iranian leaders. Tehran also accused Israel of interfering with its nuclear site and assassinating nuclear scientists.

The nuclear deal collapsed four years ago when former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States and imposed catastrophic sanctions on Iran. Meanwhile, Iran has significantly expanded its nuclear program.

US intelligence and the IAEA believe that Iran had an organized military nuclear program until 2003. Iran claims that its nuclear program is aimed at power generation and medical purposes.