Netanyahu Warns Iran against 'Testing Israel's Resolve' as Zarif Dismisses his Threats

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

In a televised speech on Monday, a senior Iranian official said the Israeli city of Tel Aviv would be "leveled to the ground" if Israel were to attack Iran, and Netanyahu would not escape with his life. That view is shared by Mr Netanyahu, who said the 2015 deal must be scrapped or rewritten to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon capabilities.

With a theatrical flourish, Netanyahu brandished a rectangular piece of dark green metal at the podium.

"You were the audience for a cartoonish circus just this morning, which does not even deserve the dignity of a response", Zarif told delegates. "You should, it's yours".

Syria "was able to use its own means to bring down one of their planes", he said, referring to last weekend's clashes involving an Iranian drone launched from Syria, a downed Israeli jet and retaliatory airstrikes.

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During the reprisal raid, one of the eight Israeli F-16 fighter jets that took part in the operation was apparently hit by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile and crashed.

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

The flareup on the northern border marked the first direct confrontation between the Israeli air force and the Iranian regime on Israeli territory.

Yesterday's gesture comes scarcely a week after military escalation in Syria raised questions about Israel's mantle of military supremacy in the Middle East. "We will act if necessary not just against Iran's proxies but Iran itself".

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"We are looking at a number of countries that have nuclear technology for peaceful purposes", Al-Jubeir said, calling on the U.S. to give Riyadh the same rights as other nuclear nations in its push to process nuclear fuel indigenously.

A few hours later, Mr Zarif also spoke to the Munich conference and dismissed the words of the Israeli leader. Israel's biggest concern is if Iran established a land corridor to Lebanon via Iraq and Syria, where Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders oversee thousands of militants. "We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves".

Faced with a war in Syria that has destabilized the region, redrawn its threat map and escalated the risk of a wider war, Israel and Saudi Arabia, which have no diplomatic relations, are finding a common enemy in Iran.

"In fact, it has unleashed a risky Iranian tiger in our region and beyond".

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That said, neither Iran nor any other nation in the Middle East, including the deposed regime of former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein nor the government of Syria's present President Bashar Assad, has presented any threat to the United States.

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