Iran Commanders Continue Threats, As Israeli Media Express Concern
While Iranian military commanders continued bragging about the country's missile power and its determination to wipe Israel off the map, Israeli media have been highlighting the danger of Iran's missile program for the region.
Thursday morning, [March 18], Iran's Defense Minister Amir Hatami praised "outstanding progress" of the country's defense industry. He added that the situation of the region is moving forward in a direction that would lead to losses for the United States.
Hatami continued that Iran will strive to boost its missile power and defense capabilities in the new Iranian year, which starts on March 20. Meanwhile, he praised the Iranian armed forces for maintaining the balance of power in the region.
Hatami also called for more efforts on the part of the defense industry in the area of missile development in the next year. He added that the armed forces have carried out all of their responsibilities as they were defined by the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
On Tuesday, in a letter to the commander of the IRGC, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces Mohammad Bagheri said that the idea of destroying Israel "is not a myth or an illusion."
He stressed that the destruction of Israel is part of a plan drawn by Khamenei and will be definitely carried out, Mehr news agency quoted Baqeri as saying.
Bagheri further added that Iran has already provided the potential for "the elimination of Israel from the region's geography before the second 40 years of the history of the Islamic revolution started." The revolution took place 42 years ago.
He added that the destruction of Israel "is a reality," and that "Israel is doomed to be destroyed by Iran and Iranians."
This comes while a Fox news report has revealed satellite images that show the Islamic Republic has boosting its missile power in the province of Hormozgan next to the Persian gulf.
The satellite imagery indicated that a new ballistic missile base in Hormozgan is only 120 kilometers from the nearest US military targets in the region while other targets are also within the reach of Iran's missiles.
Apparently, Iran has not done much to hide the missile base possibly to send a message to US forces in the region. A military analyst told Iran International TV on Thursday that by doing so, Iran wants to make it known that it is not going to negotiate over its missile power in any possible talks with the United States.
In another development, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on March 17 that Israeli intelligence has observed "a leap in Iran's missile capability," adding that "Iran has recently made significant advances in the development of its weapons industry, including precision-guided rockets and missiles, cruise missiles and drones."
Haaretz wrote that Israel is concerned about Iran's attempts to provide better weapons to its proxies in the Middle East, adding that Tehran is encouraging Hezbollah and Hamas to manufacture weapons independently.
The newspaper said that "the radical axis led by Tehran in the Middle East, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Assad regime in Syria, the Shi’ite militias in Iraq and the Houthi rebels in Yemen" are among the recipients of modern Iranian weapons in the region.
Tensions between Israel and Iran have escalated after Iran attacked an Israeli ship in the Indian Ocean on 26 February and Israel purportedly attacked an Iranian cargo ship in the Mediterranean Sea in March. However, according to Haaretz, Israel may be coming to terms with the possibility of nuclear talks between Tehran and Washington despite harsh rhetoric by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.