05:05 GMT26 February 2021
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    The remarks come amid escalating tensions between Tehran and Tel Aviv over Israeli airstrikes targeting alleged "Iranian" targets in Syria earlier this month.

    Iran's strategy is to wipe "the Zionist regime" of Israel off the political map, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps second-in-command Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami said, in a television address on Monday.

    "We announce that if Israel takes any action to wage a war against us, it will definitely lead to its own elimination and freeing of occupied territories," Salami said, according to Reuters.

    "Iran's strategy is to remove the Zionist regime from the political map, and the Israelis contribute to this by their criminal activities," he added.

    Salami's comments follow similar remarks by Iranian Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh, who said last week that Iranian military pilots were "impatient and ready to fight against Israel and eliminate it from the earth."

    Salami is well known for his aggressive firebrand rhetoric against Iran's opponents, previously warning that Tel Aviv would be "razed to the ground" if it attacked Syria, suggesting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be forced to "flee into the sea" by Hezbollah and should "practice swimming," while urging Gulf States "sitting in a glass house" not to cross Tehran's "red lines."

    Tensions between the two Middle Eastern powers have been smouldering due to continued Israeli airstrikes in Syria. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned suspected Iranian forces in Syria to "get out of there fast," adding that Israel "won't stop attacking." The warning was followed up by two back-to-back Israeli strikes against Damascus International Airport.

    Tel Aviv has repeatedly accused Tehran of having a substantive military presence in Syria. Iran has vehemently denied these claims, insisting that its military presence in the country is limited to military advisers and arms aid sent at Damascus's request to fight terrorism.


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