Senior Tehran official: Iran would destroy Israel if attacked
Arab state, worried by Iran's belligerent statements, tells Israel it would not oppose Iran strike.
Iran would destroy Israel and 32 U.S. military bases in the Middle East if the Islamic Republic was attacked over its disputed nuclear program, a senior official was quoted as saying on Saturday.
"The U.S. knows full well that with the smallest move against Iran, Israel and 32 U.S. military bases in the region would not be out of the reach of our missiles and would be destroyed," the semi-official Fars News Agency quoted Mojtaba Zolnour as saying.
Zolnour is the deputy of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's representative in Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.
Meanwhile, official representatives of an Arab country have hinted in meetings with Israeli officials that they would not oppose an Israeli military operation against Iran, sources in Jerusalem said this week.
According to the sources, the representatives of the Arab country said they are worried by Iran's growing influence in the region, primarily among Shi'ite communities in Arab states.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak hinted Thursday that Israel would be willing to attack Iran when he said that "Israel is the strongest country in the region and has proved in the past that it is not deterred from activity when there is concern that its vital interests could be harmed."
The representatives told the Israeli officials that other Arab countries are also troubled by Iran's policy. Some Arab states are afraid that Iran's growing power will create a rift between Sunnis and Shi'ites. That concern is especially rife in Arab countries with a Shi'ite minority.
Political sources in Israel told Haaretz that Iran's increasingly belligerent statements have worried the Gulf states, which want American protection against Tehran. "If this is how Iran threatens when it doesn't have nuclear weapons, what will it do when its nuclear program ripens?" one Israeli source said.
Addressing the Iranian issue during a Labor Party meeting in Tel Aviv on Thursday, Barak said that "at the moment the focus is on international sanctions and intensive diplomatic activity, and these channels have to be exhausted."