(TELESUR) – Israel will be destroyed in half an hour if the United States attacks Iran, a senior Iranian parliamentarian said Monday, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.
“If the U.S. attacks us, only half an hour will remain of Israel’s lifespan,” Mojtaba Zolnour, the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said, according to Mehr.
For decades Iran has been one of the most vocal critics of Israel and its occupation and settlement policies in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria while supporting resistance movements in the region. Israel is Washington’s main ally in the Middle East, receiving over US$3.8 billion yearly in military aid from the United States.
Weeks of tensions culminated last month in U.S. President Donald Trump’s last-minute decision to call off planned strikes on Iran after Tehran downed a U.S. drone. Washington also accused Iran of being behind attacks on ships in the Gulf, which Tehran denies.
Trump has opted to pull out of the historic Iran nuclear deal that was signed between five world powers, including the U.S., and Iran which saw the European Union and the U.S. administration of Barack Obama easing most of the economic sanctions against the Iranian republic which had been in place since the Iranian revolution of 1979. In return Tehran had to cap its nuclear activities below the internationally allowed limit, preventing teh country from developing nuclear weapons.
Since the agreement became effective in 2016, the international nuclear watchdog certified repeatedly that Iran had kept its end of the deal, nevertheless, the Trump administration withdrew from the deal saying that it was “weak” and accusing Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons despite the deal. Trump’s move was seen as siding with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who accuse Iran of seeking to “destabilize” the Middle East.