Tel Aviv, Haifa Will Be Destroyed if Israel Acts 'Foolishly,' Senior Iranian Cleric Says

'These European signatories also cannot be trusted ... Iran's enemies cannot be trusted,' Khatami told worshippers during prayers at Tehran University

Reuters
Reuters
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In this January 5, 2018 file photo, Iranian senior cleric Ahmad Khatami delivers his sermon during Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran.
In this January 5, 2018 file photo, Iranian senior cleric Ahmad Khatami delivers his sermon during Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran. Credit: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP
Reuters
Reuters

A senior Iranian cleric said on Friday that if Israel acts "foolishly," Tel Aviv and Haifa would be destroyed, state TV reported.

"We will expand our missile capabilities despite Western pressure ... to let Israel know that if it acts foolishly, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be totally destroyed," the hard-line cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said, to chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."

Khatami also said that Europeans could not be trusted, after President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would remain in a 2015 nuclear deal even after the United States quit the pact.

>> From Iran to Syria, Israel and the U.S. are in tune | Analysis ■ These are the 'powerful' sanctions Trump will impose on Iran after nixing nuclear dealNixing of nuclear deal turns Rohani into lame duck, empowers conservatives in Tehran| Analysis >>

"America cannot do a damn thing. They have always been after toppling of Iran's regime and this exit is in line with that aim," Iranian state TV showed Khatami telling worshippers during prayers at Tehran University.

"These European signatories also cannot be trusted ... Iran's enemies cannot be trusted," Khatami said.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that the United States was withdrawing from Iran's nuclear deal with major powers. Germany, France and Britain continue to back the deal but want talks to be held in a broader format on Iran's ballistic missile program and its regional activities, including in Syria and Yemen.

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