Iranian official: If Israel attacks, 'we will level Tel Aviv'

Iranian official: If Israel attacks, 'we will level Tel Aviv'

Regarding the threat in his speech to "act against Iran itself" and not just its proxies, Netanyahu said: "I didn't say what we will attack, but one thing is for sure - Iran is attacking Israel, without a doubt, and so they have no immunity".

But Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, appearing two hours later at the same Munich Security Conference, fired back that Netanyahu's comment was "delusional thinking". "You should, it's yours".

Netanyahu's brandishing of the alleged drone part on Sunday brought to minds his display of a cartoonish diagram of a bomb during his September 2012 address to the United Nations General Assembly to claim that Iran was on the verge of building an atomic warhead.

Last week, Israel lost a combat aircraft to hostile fire as it returned from air strikes in Syria, an incident that reportedly began with an Iranian military drone entering Israeli territory.

"Zarif also said that the recent shooting down of an Israeli F-16 after it bombed an Iranian site in Syria had shattered Israel's so-called invincibility". Now, with the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad gaining ground in its eight-year civil war with Iranian and Russian support, Israel fears Tehran will seek to build a permanent presence in its northern neighbour.

Netanyahu said Zarif "lies with eloquence" and warned the conference participants saying that Zarif will "brazenly deny Iran's nefarious involvement in Syria".

"Through its proxies - Shiite militias in Iraq, the Huthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza - Iran is devouring huge swathes of the Middle East", he said.

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The former US Secretary of State John Kerry later insisted that Mr Netanyahu's assertion that Iran would be on its way to a nuclear bomb within a decade was "fundamentally not accurate".

Addressing the Munich event for the first time, Netanyahu also underscored that Israel would act against Iran, not just its allies in the Middle East, if needed. He has made Iran and its engagement in the region a focal point of his foreign policy, committing the U.S. to pushing back Tehran's regional role.

Netanyahu likened the Munich Agreement to the Nuclear Agreement signed in 2015 by the P5+1 with the Iranian regime to curb its nuclear program for a period of time in lieu of lifted trade restrictions and economic sanctions. "Don't test Israel's resolve".

"It's the problem of aggression", Zarif said.

Under Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has reportedly been strengthening its ties with Israel and making progress towards normalizing relations in light of growing Iranian influence.

"Now there has been one positive effect of Iran's growing aggression in the region".

He insisted that Iran was "not devouring the entire region - we don't believe that's in our interest or even possible".

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