An Israeli war on Iran “will eventually happen”, but the Jewish state will be destroyed as a result, the head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said in comments published on Saturday.
“War will happen but it is not certain where and when,” General Mohammad Ali Jafari (pictured) said.
“The shameful and cancerous tumor that is Israel is seeking war against us, but it is not known when that war will happen. They now consider war as the only way to confront us, but they are so stupid that their [US] masters should stop them,” he said.
“If they begin [aggression], it will spell their destruction and will be the end of the story,” he said.
“This [war] will eventually happen as the [Islamic] revolution is moving towards its goals, and they cannot tolerate this. And, finally, they will impose a war situation.”
The comments were the first time Iran has acknowledged the probability of open armed conflict with Israel. Previously, it had dismissed such a scenario as bluff on the part of Israel’s leaders.
Tensions, though, have risen significantly in recent weeks, with Israel threatening to unleash air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities.
Israel believes Iran’s nuclear programme is aimed at developing an atomic weapons capability that would menace its own existence, and its current status as the Middle East’s sole, if undeclared, nuclear weapons power.
Iran insists its programme is exclusively for peaceful, civilian ends, but it is locked in a deepening standoff with the UN nuclear watchdog and the UN Security Council over the issue.