Deputy chief of the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami called Israel a “political mannequin” for the U.S. adding that the power of Lebanese Hezbollah is enough to terminate it. Salami also advised Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to learn how to swim because he will be forced to flee his country soon.
“I tell the prime minister of the Zionist regime to practice swimming in the Mediterranean because soon you will have no choice, but flee into the sea … Wherever you are in the occupied land, you’ll be under fire from us, from east and west. You became arrogant. If there’s a war, the result will be your complete elimination,” Brig. Gen. Salami told a gathering of IRGC and Basij forces in Iran’s central city of Isfahan on October 5, according to the France-Press Agency (AFP).
Brig. Gen. Salami threats are a response to remarks by Netanyahu, who vowed a day earlier that Israel will continue its military operations again Iranian forces in Syria and Lebanon.
“Israel will continue doing what it takes to defend itself… We will continue blocking Iran’s attempts to use Syria and Lebanon as its forward bases to launch attacks on Israel,” Netanyahu told reporters during a joint press briefing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Jerusalem, according to the Russian news agency Sputnik.
The tension between Israel and Iran escalated following the September 17 airstrikes on the coastal Syrian city of Lattakia and the shootdown of the Russian Il-20 intelligence plane. Later, senior Israeli officials began releasing more hostile statements when Russia delivered S-300 long-range air defense systems to Syria.
According to some local experts , Israel fears that these advanced air defense systems will not only limit the operations of its air force, but will also provide an umbrella fro Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria.