Israel will be destroyed in half an hour if the United States attacks Iran, a senior Iranian parliamentarian said on Monday, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.
BY GEORGE MARTIN
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.
‘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 on Monday, according to Mehr.
It comes as researchers suggested rising tensions between the United States and Iran has made an atomic war significantly more likely.
Think tank the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) found that the nine nuclear states held a collective 13,865 warheads in 2018, down from 14,465 the year before.
The threat of nuclear war was brought back to the world stage by the US’ withdrawal from the Middle East Non-Proliferation Treaty after President Trump accused Iran of ramping up production of its nuclear arsenal.
This week Iran announced that it will breach its limit of enriched uranium on June 27 that was set under a 2015 nuclear deal by world leaders including President Obama.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has accused the United States of being a ‘serious threat’ to global and regional stability as tensions soar in the Gulf.
‘The US government over the last two years, violating all the international structures and rules and using its economic, financial and military resources, has taken an aggressive approach and presents a serious risk to stability in the region and the world,’ Rouhani said.
Rouhani criticised the U.S. for withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, saying Washington is forcing other parties and countries to breach a UN Security Council resolution on normalising trade contacts with Tehran.
He called on the other participants in the deal to ‘carry out their obligations as soon as possible’ so Tehran can develop its economic interests under the deal.
Rouhani did not refer to the situation in the Gulf where the US has accused Iran of being behind attacks on two tankers.
Iran’s shooting down of a US drone which allegedly violated Iranian airspace last month also threatened to provoke direct military action.
Donald Trump revealed soon after he was moments away from ordering direct strikes against Iran – but changed his mind at the last minute.
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