An Iranian military official threatened to "wipe" Israel "off the face of the earth" if the Jewish state attacks, a stark new threat coinciding with the start of a European Union oil embargo to put pressure on Iran's nuclear program, Reuters reported.
Revolutionary Guards General Amir Ali Hajizadeh reportedly issued the warning as he announced new missile tests to take place in the coming week.
According to Reuters, Hajizadeh said the exercises targeting mock-ups of air bases in the region should be seen as a message "that the Islamic Republic of Iran is resolute in standing up to...bullying, and will respond to any possible evil decisively and strongly."
"If they [Israel] take any action, they will hand us an excuse to wipe them off the face of the earth," Hajizadeh said, according to state news agency IRNA.
The threat echoes an oft-repeated quote attributed to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Israel must be "wiped off the map." Ahmadinejad was actually quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini when he said the "regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" -- also translated as "wiped off the map."
According to the Associated Press, Hajizadeh also said Israel is not capable of attacking Iran "since it was defeated by Hezbollah," referring to the monthlong 2006 war between Israel and the Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group.