Iran’s president threatens to destroy Israel if the Jewish state carries out military strikes on Tehran’s nuclear program
Amid tensions, the Jewish state is suspected in carrying out a series of attacks targeting Iranian nuclear sites, as well as a prominent scientist.
In a rare news conference on Monday marking his first year in office, President Ebrahim Raisi said if Israel decides to carry out its threats to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, ‘they will see if anything from the Zionist regime will remain or not.’
Raisi said that actions by Israel including ‘the assassination of (Iranian) nuclear scientists’ and ‘acts of sabotage’ against nuclear facilities could ‘not stop’ Iran’s nuclear program.
He also warned that any roadmap to restore Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers must see international inspectors end their probe on man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites in the country.
Raisi tried to sound upbeat as Iran’s economy and rial currency has cratered under the weight of international sanctions.
Despite the international attention on the deal as talks in Vienna hang in the balance, it took Raisi well over an hour before fully acknowledging the ongoing negotiations.
Tehran and Washington have traded written responses in recent weeks on the finer points of the roadmap, which would see sanctions lifted against Iran in exchange for it restricting its rapidly advancing nuclear program.
The International Atomic Energy Agency for years has sought for Iran to answer questions about man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites.
U.S. intelligence agencies, Western nations and the IAEA have said Iran ran an organized nuclear weapons program until 2003. Iran long has denied ever seeking nuclear weapons.
As a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran is obligated to explain the radioactive traces and to provide assurances that they are not being used as part of a nuclear weapons program.
Iran found itself criticized by the IAEA’s Board of Governors in June over its failure to answer questions about the sites to the inspectors’ satisfaction.