Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday warned that any “slightest action” by Israel against his country will see “the destruction of Haifa and Tel Aviv.”
Addressing the National Army Day parade in the capital Tehran, he said Israel has received this message from Iran’s armed forces as tensions continue to heighten between the arch-foes in the wake of recent airstrikes in Syria that killed Iranian military advisors.
Flanked by top military commanders, Raisi said the message of Iran’s National Army Day, observed on April 18 every year, is a “message of peace and friendship for countries in the region.”
He, however, hastened to add that “extra-regional forces,” referring specifically to American forces, “should leave the region as soon as possible,” saying their presence “endangers the region’s security.”
During the parade, the Iranian army’s ground force, naval force, and air force put on display their indigenous equipment including fighter jets, helicopters, air defense systems, and drones.
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This year’s military parade comes amid Iran’s growing tensions with both the US and Israel amid a stalemate in the 2015 nuclear deal talks as well as recent strikes in Syria.
Two members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) were killed in Israeli airstrikes near Damascus late last night, after which Iran vowed a “firm and decisive response.”
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have also grown amid the standoff over Iran nuclear deal.
At a weekly press conference in Tehran on Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said the US is “no longer the superpower” and that “the unipolar world has ended.”