Iran’s defense minister on Sunday warned that if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s policies lead to a war in the Middle East, it would result in the destruction of Israel.
"Even though a businessman, the assistants that ... (Trump) has chosen may map a different path for him, and this has led to unease, particularly among Persian Gulf countries," Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan was quoted by Reuters as having told a security conference in Tehran.
At the same time, claimed the Iranian minister, "Considering Trump's character and that he measures the cost of everything in dollars, it does not seem likely that he would take strong action against our country.”
"Enemies may want to impose a war on us based on false calculations and only taking into consideration their material capabilities. Such a war would mean the destruction of the Zionist regime (Israel) ... and will engulf the whole region and could lead to a world war," Dehghan warned, according to Reuters.
"Among other consequences of the war, would be the destruction of the city-states on the southern shore of the Persian Gulf, because they lack popular support," he added, referring to small Western-allied Gulf states such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.
The comments amid Iranian fears that Trump would cancel the nuclear deal Iran signed with Western powers last year.
During the election campaign, Trump publicly spoke out against the Iran deal, calling it “disastrous” and vowing to “rip it up” as president.
After he won the election, Trump’s senior foreign policy adviser, Walid Phares, hinted that while Trump might not actually rip up the agreement, he would act to change it.
Iranian officials have downplayed Trump’s threats to annul the nuclear deal, insisting he cannot do so even if he wishes.
Iran continuously threatens Israel, regardless of Trump’s intentions with regards to the nuclear agreement. Just last month, a senior Iranian military commander predicted that Palestinian Arabs would “get rid of Israel” in the next 10 years.
In May, a senior Iranian military commander threatened Israel and claimed that his country can destroy the Jewish state “in less than eight minutes”.