Iran to "blow up heart" of Israel if attacked: official
Reuters – October 9, 2009
Iran would "blow up the heart" of Israel if it was attacked by the Jewish state or the United States, a Revolutionary Guards official was quoted Friday as saying.
"Even if one American or Zionist missile hits our country, before the dust settles, Iranian missiles will blow up the heart of Israel," the IRNA news agency quoted Mojtaba Zolnour as saying.
Zolnour is a deputy representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the elite Guards force. Iranian officials have previously said Tehran would retaliate in event of an Israeli or U.S. attack.
Earlier this year, a senior commander said Iranian missiles could reach Israeli nuclear sites. Israel is believed to be the only nuclear-armed Middle East state.
Israel has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to end a dispute over Iran's nuclear ambitions, echoing U.S. policy, although Washington is engaged in a drive to resolve the issue through direct talks with Iran.
The West suspects the Islamic state is covertly seeking to develop nuclear weapons, which Iran denies.
"The Zionist regime and the United States cannot risk attacking Iran," Zolnour said in the holy Shi'ite city of Qom on Thursday, citing Iranian military and technological advances, IRNA reported.
At talks in Geneva on October 1, Iran agreed with six world powers -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany -- to give U.N. experts access to a newly-disclosed uranium enrichment plant south of Tehran.
Iran and Western powers described talks as constructive and a step forward.
However, underlying tension was highlighted before the meeting when Iran test-fired missiles with ranges that could put Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf region within reach.
(Reporting by Hashem Kalantari; writing by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Andrew Dobbie)
Last updated 12/10/2009