Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has ordered the country's elite Quds Force to step up attacks against the West and its allies around the world, Britain's Telegraph newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The Telegraph quoted Western intelligence officials as saying that Khamenei gave the order following a recent emergency meeting of Iran's National Security Council in Tehran.
The meeting discussed a report on the repercussions of the possible overthrow of Syrian President Bashar Assad for Iran.
The report, according to the Telegraph, concluded that Iran's national interests were threatened by a combination of UN sanctions and the West's backing of the Syrian opposition.
As a result, the report recommended that Iran issue a warning to "America, the Zionists, Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and others" over its actions in Syria and the rest of the region.
According to the report, Khamenei then proceeded to direct Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, to step up attacks against the West.
The Quds Force has been blamed for a series of attacks against Israeli and Western targets.
On Tuesday, a top Iranian official warned that an Israeli attack on Iran will lead to Israel's "annihilation".
The comment, by former head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Mohsen Rezaei, came after, last week, the head of the Revolutionary Guard's air force said that a possible Israeli airstrike against his country's nuclear facilities is "welcome" because it would give Iran a reason to retaliate and "get rid of" the Jewish state "forever."
Hajizadeh said in the event of an Israeli strike, Iran's response would be "swift, decisive and destructive." But he also claims Israeli threats of a strike are just part of a psychological war against Iran.
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