Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Thursday responded to reports claiming Israel is planning a military attack against his country, stating Tehran  is "ready for war" with Israel.  

“We have been hearing threats from Israel for eight years. Our nation is a united nation…such threats are not new to us,” Salehi told Turkey’s Hürriyet Daily.

Salehi further warned that if any country would attempt an attack, Iran would not hesitate to retaliate. "We are very sure of ourselves. We can defend our country," Salehi claimed.

Salehi’s statements come a day after Iran's chief of staff said Israel would be severely punished for any attack on Iranian soil.

"We would make them regret such a mistake and would severely punish them," Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi told the ISNA news agency on Wednesday.

"In case of an attack by the Zionist regime, the United States would also be hit," he added, without elaborating.

Britain is also stepping up its preparations for a military strike on Iran, The Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday. According to its report, London is increasingly concerned over Tehran's nuclear program and is preparing to deploy Royal Navy ships in the coming months to assist a possible American strike on Iran.

The paper cited senior British officials as saying they believed Iran had regained the technological capabilities that a cyber-attack damaged last year. Iran said the Stuxnet worm infected personal computers of employees at its Bushehr nuclear plant, but not the plant's main systems. The New York Times reported last January that the worm was a joint Israeli-American effort to undermine Iran's nuclear program.