Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard
Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Reuters

A senior Iranian commander is again threatening Israel, warning that "if Israel makes a strategic mistake, it has to collect bits and pieces of Tel Aviv from the lower depths of the Mediterranean Sea."

Abbas Nilforoushan, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander for Operations, made the comments in an interview with Tasnim news agency, as translated by Radio Farda.

"Iranian armed forces do not play according to the rules in their strategic depth which is as wide as West Asia," said the commander, claiming that in the area of military power, Iran has reached a balance of power with its enemies.

Asked about his views on threats Israel can pose against Iran, Nilforoushan replied, "Israel is not in a position to threaten Iran. Iran has encircled Israel from all four sides."

He asserted that after a conflict with Iran, "Nothing will be left of Israel."

Nilforoushan explained that Israel's military doctrine is based on "striking resistance forces before they can be turned into a threat and start an all-out war because they cannot afford being involved in a full-fledged war."

"No country can stand up to the Islamic Republic. Tehran's enemies know that the they will not be in control of ending a war they might start against Iran," he claimed.

"If the enemies could have started a war against Iran, they would have done it," added Nilforoushan.

"Israel lacks strategic depth," he claimed, "So, its people are poor and there are too many ethnic, cultural and political divides in their society. A war will drag Israel's regime to the threshold of annihilation."

Iranian officials regularly threaten to wipe Israel off the map and attack its cities and towns.

Many of the threats against Israel come from Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Last June, Khamenei launched a Twitter tirade against Israel, saying that “the Zionist regime will perish in the not-so-far future.”

Earlier that month, he called Israel “a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated”. Khamenei also attacked 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 case, 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.