(photo credit: REUTERS)
If Israel decides to conduct a military strike on nuclear sites in Iran, it will be the end of the Jewish state, said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbhar Salehi on Thursday.
“If Israel ever, ever makes this mistake, that will set the time for the end of Israel. The Israelis are well aware of this,” said Salehi, during an interview with Danish television TV2.
The Iranian foreign minister stressed that in the case of an Israeli attack on Iran, the Islamic Republic "will be responding very forcefully."
Earlier Thursday, the Iranian foreign minister met with Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar in Iran, who expressed his full support for the Palestinian cause
and condemned the "dastard atrocities of the Zionist regime, " Iranian state-run news agency IRNA reported. Zahar was in Iran, meeting with leaders to gather support following a weekend of military exchanges with Israel, according to the report.
Salehi told Zahar that the recent Israeli air strikes in Gaza were a sign of Israel's weakness.
“We are quite confident that the Palestinians will win the struggle,” Salehi said.
According to IRNA, Zahar praised and thanked Iran for its support.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Iran is the primary actor responsible for escalations in the Gaza Strip. "Gaza is Iran," the prime minister told a special Knesset session in which he was obligated to speak.
Connecting the recent round of violence in Gaza and the Iranian nuclear threat, Netanyahu said he is not prepared to accept a situation in which the country, which backs terrorist groups, becomes a nuclear power.Rocket attacks on Israel renewed on Thursday after IAF warplanes targeted a rocket launching site and a smuggling tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday. Palestinians did not report casualties in those strikes.
The IAF attacks were in response to two Grad-model Katyusha rockets that terrorists in Gaza fired towards Beersheba.
Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.