Iran Escalates Anti-Israel Rhetoric

Escalating Israeli rhetoric regarding a possible strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities was answered this weekend by even cruder threats from Iran and Hezbollah. The Iranians have always marked their version of Jerusalem Day, which fell on Friday, with warlike declarations, but this time they raised the volume a bit.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a rally in Tehran that he hopes for “a new Middle East, with no memory of the American or Zionist presence.” The Zionist regime, he added, is “a malignant cancer, an insult to humanity.” And Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ aerial corps, said he would welcome an Israeli attack, because it would allow his country to “get rid of Israel forever” in response.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that the debate within Israel over whether to attack Iran stems from recognition of how strong Iran is. “Will Israel give Iran the excuse it has been awaiting for 32 years?” he asked.

Nevertheless, he declined to say whether Hezbollah would attack Israel in response to an Israeli attack on Iran. Instead, he warned against an Israeli attack on Lebanon, saying Hezbollah would respond with a missile barrage that would kill “tens of thousands” of Israelis - a number far greater than the Israeli defense establishment’s estimate of a few hundred.

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Iran Escalates Anti-Israel Rhetoric

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