Iranian Chief of Staff: We'll teach Israel 'a good lesson'

Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces threatens to retaliate against Israel after Iranian oil tanker was attacked off the coast of Syria.

Elad Benari ,


The Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, Mohammed Hussein Baqeri, on Sunday threatened to retaliate against Israel after an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Syria was attacked a day earlier, killing three people on the vessel.

"Israelis think they can keep hitting Syria and make mischievous moves elsewhere and in the seas and not receive any response," he said, according to i24NEWS.

"The moves made in the past few days and future moves against their interests will make them be wise," added Baqeri.

"We don't announce anything about the incidents that happened recently, nor do we know who did it, but the resistance front will teach a very good lesson to Israel," he stated.

The Iranian army chief promised that "if Israel's actions against Iran" continue, it's "not clear how Iran will respond, but Israel won't remain calm."

The warning came a day after an Iranian fuel tanker smuggling oil into Syria was struck in an attack off the port of Baniyas.

According to Syria's SANA news agency, the vessel was attacked with an alleged drone strike purportedly coming from over the Lebanese territorial waters. Three people on the ship, reportedly Syrian, were killed as a result.

Baqeri’s comments also follow the recent explosion at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant, which Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed on Israel and promised revenge.

Iranian officials regularly threaten Israel. Most of the threats against Israel come from Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has in the past launched a Twitter tirade against Israel, saying that “the Zionist regime will perish in the not-so-far future.”

Khamenei has also called Israel “a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated”. In another incident, he attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and branded him a “child killer”.

Even Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who has been described by some Western officials as a “moderate”, has threatened Israel.

In one instance, Rouhani called Israel a “cancerous tumor” and urged Muslim nations worldwide to unite and destroy Israel while also adding that Israel is a "fake regime".

Rouhani has in the past called Israel “illegitimate”. Shortly after being elected in 2013, he called Israel an "old wound" that "should be removed". Iranian media later claimed that Rouhani’s remarks were distorted.