Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei
Iranian leader Ayatollah

Iran's "Supreme Leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that sanctions and pressure cannot force Tehran to surrender since Iranians are strong and always overcome problems, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported, crediting semi-official Iranian news agency Fars.

"During the last 33 years, Iran has been faced with a wide range of political, security, military and economic pressure and sanctions," Fars quoted Khamenei as saying.

"But the Iranian nation has defused these pressure and grown more powerful through its resistance," he added. The growing pressure is mainly aimed at making the Iranian nation surrender, he explained, "but Iran has not bowed and will never surrender to pressure, and this has made the enemy furious".

Khamenei added that the Iranian nation will overcome the harsh conditions through reliance on its natural wealth and talented people.

Russia Today quoted Khamenei’s representative in an elite military unit as saying Tehran would need just 24 hours to annihilate Israel.

Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Shirazi, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s point man in Iran’s special Quds Force, was appointed to his position one year ago. In an interview to Iranian Jahan News, Ali Shirazi said that should Israel dare to attack Iran, it would take 24 hours for Tehran to destroy the Jewish state.

“If a war with Israel does happen, it wouldn’t be a long one, and it would benefit the entire Muslim world,” Ali Shirazi claimed.

He added that Iran knows how to conduct attrition warfare, presumably referring to the protracted Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988, so a long-term conflict would also be disastrous for Tel Aviv, which does not have the ability to last out a long war.

Ali Shirazi hinted that Israel is in a desperate position in the face of the Islamist surge in the Arab world. This, he said, is causing Israel to behave recklessly.