Iran has boasted it is capable of destroying Israel ‘in less than eight minutes’ – two weeks after testing missiles which can reach the state.
Senior military adviser Ahmad Karimpour said the country had the capacity to ‘raze the Zionist regime’ using the ‘abilities and equipment’ Iran had at its disposal.
The warning came just weeks after Iran claimed to have successfully tested 2,000km-range missiles capable of hitting Israel.
According to the Times of Israel, Karimpour – an adviser to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite unit al-Quds Force – said: ‘If the Supreme Leader’s orders [are] to be executed, with the abilities and the equipment at our disposal, we will raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes.’
Earlier this month, Tehran military chiefs hailed the accuracy of a rocket it claimed could leave the Earth’s atmosphere before hitting its target ‘without error’.
‘A missile with a 2,000-kilometre range was tested two weeks ago,’ said General Ali Abdolahi, adding that it has a negligible margin of error of just eight metres (yards).
‘We can guide this ballistic missile. It leaves the Earth’s atmosphere, re-enters it and hits the target without error,’ the armed forces deputy chief-of-staff said, quoted by the website of state broadcaster IRINN.
In early March, Iran carried out several short, medium and long-range (300 to 2,000 kilometres) precision missile tests across its territory, mostly from underground bases.
The series of tests have come in for criticism from the United State, Britain, France and Germany.
They say the tests violate United Nations resolutions, and they have called on the Security Council to address them.
Opponents of the programme say the weapons are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, an argument categorically denied by Tehran’s political and military authorities.
Tehran’s ballistic missile tests in late 2015 brought new sanctions by the US against Iran on January 17.
The punitive measures were announced a day after international sanctions were lifted following the entry into force of a July 2015 nuclear agreement.
Iran’s parliament, whose mandate expires at the end of May, passed new legislation this month that raises the country’s ballistic capability.
President Hassan Rouhani and senior Iranian military officials have also said in recent months that ballistic missiles must be enhanced in order to boost Iran’s deterrent power.
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