Israel’s Minister of Economy has threatened to wipe Iran’s ayatollahs “off the face of the Earth” if Hezbollah attacks Israel.
Speaking with the Daily Mail in an exclusive interview, Nir Barkat warned that Israel will not only “eliminate Hezbollah” if it attacks but also “actually target Iran.”
“The plan of Iran is to attack Israel on all fronts. If we find they intend to target Israel, we will not just retaliate on those fronts, but we will go to the head of the snake, which is Iran. The ayatollahs in Iran are not going to sleep good at night, we are going to make sure they pay a heavy price if, God forbid, they open the northern front,” he said.
“Lebanon and Hezbollah are going to pay a heavy price, similar to what Hamas is going to pay. But that’s not enough. The very clear message is that we are going to be going after the heads of Iran as well. When will we do that? When we decide,” he added.
“Israel has a very clear message to our enemies. We are saying to them, look what’s happening in Gaza – you are going to get the same treatment if you attack us. We are going to wipe you off the face of the Earth,” he continued.
JUST IN: Israel is threatening to cut off “the head of the snake” and launch an attack against Iran if Hezbollah joins the war.
Israel’s Minister of Economy Nir Barkat said Iran’s Ayatollahs will be “wiped off the face of the earth” if Hezbollah attacks Israel.
“The plan of… pic.twitter.com/W7Lmqo3OZG
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) October 22, 2023
But not everybody is so gung-ho about a potential war with Iran. Michael Clarke of King’s College London said there are rumors that U.S. officials have been pressuring Israel to stop making the kind of threats that Barkat just made.
“The Iranians are talking ferociously, the Israelis are speaking ferociously and the rumors are that the US leaned very heavily on Tel Aviv not to make pre-emptive statements of the sort that you have just quoted because that would inflame the situation,” he said.
“The Israelis are saying these things partly as an act of deterrence [but] it’s entirely plausible that the Iranians won’t be able to control the forces acting in their name,” he added.
Keep in mind that, though Hezbollah hasn’t initiated a full-scale attack, it has been targeting Israel with smaller attacks:
Israeli losses suffered from Hezbollah attacks so far:
– 40 IDF deaths
– 12 Merkavas destroyed
– At least 2 APCs destroyed
– At least 1 Hummer destroyed
– At least 20 radar and surveillance sites destroyed
Source: PressTV & Al-Mayadeen pic.twitter.com/dGBTncze1P
— Iran Observer (@IranObserver0) October 22, 2023
Israeli regime’s military Al-Bayad site is currently on fire after being targeted by Hezbollah. pic.twitter.com/hstbIzr0Fk
— Iran Observer (@IranObserver0) October 22, 2023
All this comes days after CNN published a report warning that America “is dangerously close to being pulled into a Middle East war.”
“[T]he United States is careening closer to the very real possibility of direct involvement in a regional Middle Eastern war. This is not the 1991 campaign to expel Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait or the 2003 invasion of Iraq, both preceded by months of planning and preparation. Then, the US and its allies determined the time, place, and scale of attack,” the report reads.
“Now, at best, the US is scrambling to respond to events largely out of its control. And in this dangerous terrain, suddenly the vulnerabilities of the sprawling American military presence across the Middle East are glaringly obvious,” it continues.
The U.S. State Department for its part previously told Newsweek that Hezbollah should stay out of the conflict.
“Any decision by Hezbollah or other actors to drag Lebanon into this conflict would have terrible consequences for the Lebanese people. They deserve better,” a State Department spokesperson said.
“No one wants a second or third front, including when it comes to Lebanon,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken added in an NBC interview. “We’ve sent a very strong message to try to deter Hezbollah, deter Iran more directly.”
Meanwhile, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib warned on Friday that Israel would also suffer consequences were things to escalate and that the Lebanese government wouldn’t be able to stop Hezbollah from attacking.
“The damage would be worse for them [Israel] as much as for us. Their country is not going to be safe. All of these resistance forces have a lot of weapons and they’re going to use them,” he told CNN.
While on CNN, he also called for an immediate ceasefire.
20 October 2023
Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib urged Israel to declare a 48-hour ceasefire. “Really we don’t want war. The government does not want war,” the minister told CNN on Friday. “We are dialoguing with the various groups. But it is uncontrollable…
— Manzoor Ahmed Manzoor (@Manzoor149A1) October 21, 2023
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