A top adviser to the speaker of Iran’s parliament says that Hezbollah has “tens of thousands” of missiles that it has prepared for a possible future battle with Israel.
“Now Hezbollah has tens of thousands of missiles ready to be fired at Israel,” said Hossein Sheikholeslam, the parliament speaker’s adviser for international affairs, Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency reported.
Iran funds, arms and trains its ideological proxy, the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah, which the U.S. classifies as a terrorist group.
Hezbollah fighters hold their party flags, as they parade during a rally to mark the 13th day of Ashoura, in the southern market town of Nabatiyeh, Lebanon, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. (AP/Mohammed Zaatari)
The Iranian official who made the threat, Sheikholeslam, was one of the hardline students who held American diplomats hostage at the U.S. embassy for 444 days beginning in 1979, according to an Iranian report once cited by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Sheikholeslam attributed what he characterized as Hezbollah’s strong posture to the group’s alliance with Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“The deterrence power of Hezbollah is the result of (its) continued cooperation with former Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad and his son Bashar Al-Assad,” Sheikholeslam said according to Fars.
The parliamentary aide’s remarks are the latest combative words coming out of Iran in recent days, including Iran’s military chief of staff General Hassan Firouzabadi on Wednesday saying that the Islamic Republic is “ready for the decisive battle against the U.S. and the Zionist regime.”
Prior to that, Iran test-fired new domestically produced missiles and stated that its warships would for the first time sail near American maritime borders.
Over the weekend, Iran’s state television showed a video simulating sweeping missile attacks on American and Israeli targets.
A senior military aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that any attack on Iran would unleash “inconceivable strikes” in response.
Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi said, “The Iranian nation and Armed Forces are ready for an all-out defense and protection of the country with all their power and they will respond to any aggression with reciprocal and inconceivable strikes.”
Safavi also referred to Hezbollah’s role in attacking Israel in the future. “The start of war against Iran means the destruction of the Zionist regime by Hezbollah forces of Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah,” he said according to Fars.