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      Iranian Official Repeats Threat to Raze Haifa and Tel Aviv

      A senior Iranian military commander reiterates that the Iranian Armed Forces are capable of razing Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 4/16/2013, 5:46 AM

      Iranian-made jets fly over the sea off the coast of Chabahar city, south of Iran
      Iranian-made jets fly over the sea off the coast of Chabahar city, south of Iran
      AFP photo

      A senior Iranian military commander repeated on Monday the threats that the Iranian Armed Forces are capable of razing Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.

      Speaking to reporters, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces for Logistics and Industrial Research, General Mohammad Hejazi, pointed to the remarks made by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei about Tehran's response to a U.S. and Israeli attack on Iran. He noted that Khamenei is "well aware" of the Iranian Armed Forces' capability.

      "We enjoy the needed level of preparedness to put this statement (razing Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground) into action in the shortest time possible if the enemy makes a foolish move," Hejazi underlined, according to the Fars news agency.

      He played down statements by the U.S. and Israel that all options are on the table in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat, and said such statements signify their passive stance.

      Last month, Khamenei said that Iran will "annihilate" the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if it comes under attack by the Jewish state.

      "Every now and then the leaders of the Zionist regime threaten Iran with a military attack," Khamenei said.

      "They should know that if they commit such a blunder, the Islamic republic will annihilate Tel Aviv and Haifa," he added.

      Earlier this week, Iran tested three new missiles and said it plans to unveil its new personnel carriers during military exercises being held in the Isfahan Province.

      Missile and rocket units in the Iranian Army test-fired the three different types of missiles, developed by the Army and Defense Industries, during recent war games, Ground Forces Lt. Cmdr-Gen Kioumars Heydari said on Saturday.

      No details were released about the missiles, other than to say they were different from the current Fajr series and Naze’at 10 missiles stocked in the Iranian arsenal. 

      Meanwhile on Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defended his country's controversial nuclear program, arguing that Tehran has no use for an atomic bomb.

      Speaking during a visit to Benin, the first stop on a three-nation tour, Ahmadinejad called nuclear energy a "divine gift" providing affordable electricity.

      "We don't need an atomic bomb... And besides, it is not atomic bombs that threaten the world, but Western morals and culture declining in values," he claimed.