The announcement by Firuzabadi is the first by an Iranian official stating Iran’s intention to destroy Israel. Senior officials like the current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have often stated that they would like to see an end of the Israeli nation, but so far they have refrained from explicitly saying that Israel should be wiped off from the face of earth.
Last week, the local Iranian newspaper, Kayhan News had reported that Iran is readying some of its 11,000 missiles for possible strikes against the US and Israel. Stepping up the pressure on the Western nations, Qazanfar Roknabadi, the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon had warned both the US and Israel against planning any pre-emptive strike against Iran. He said that Israeli and American military facilities will come under attack by Iranian missiles, if they try to attack the nuclear facilities inside Iran.
Iranian armed forces also claimed that they have successfully tested three of their Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) during a recently concluded military exercise. Recently there were reports that Iran has acquired a number of Dong Feng 31 ICBMs from China, which are having an operational range of 12,000 km. The missiles, which are nuclear capable, are being operated by North Korean engineers attached with the Iranian armed forces. The reports of the Iranian ICBM acquisition, first revealed by the nuclear expert Gordon Chang, is yet to be confirmed by either the American or Iranian official sources.
Josh Block, a senior defence analyst affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, warned Israel not to take the warnings by Firuzabadi lightly. He also warned the US to look in to the possibility of terrorist groups like the Hezbollah and the Al Qaeda obtaining nuclear technology from Iran.