Iran: “Our Lebanese, Gaza Proxies Can Level Tel Aviv, Haifa To The Ground”

A group of protesters burn pictures of the U.S. President Donald Trump, top, and the President-elect Joe Biden and representations of the U.S. and Israeli flags in a gathering in front of Iranian Foreign Ministry on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, a day after the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh an Iranian scientist linked to the country's nuclear program by unknown assailants near Tehran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

A senior Iranian commander said over the weekend that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has told Iranian-backed proxies in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip to destroy Haifa and Tel Aviv “if any foolishness is committed against Iran.”

Gen. Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of Revolutionary Guard’s Aerospace Force, said on Al-Manar TV that Iran has been working for years on honing the capabilities of its proxies near Israel.

“All the missile capabilities of Gaza and Lebanon have been supported by Iran, and they are the front line for confrontation,” he said. “We teach the Resistance Front to make fishing rods, instead of providing fish, and Lebanon and Gaza possess the technology to manufacture missiles.”

“Today, the Palestinians fire rockets instead of throwing stones,” Hajizadeh added.

“We have a general order from the guide, Ali Khamenei, to level Haifa and Tel Aviv to the ground in case any foolishness is committed against Iran, and we have worked over the past years to be able to do so,” he said.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah seemed to contradict Hajizadeh’s account, saying on Sunday that Iran did not ask its proxies to avenge the killing of Quds Force commander Soleimani as the Islamic Republic is perfectly capable of doing so independently.

“I want you to know – Iran is strong and does not need its friends or allies. It will respond in a time, place and manner that suits it,” Nasrallah said.

“Iran won’t demand anything from their proxies. When it decides to respond militarily…it will do so.”

This is not the first time that Iran has threatened to destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa, two of Israel’s largest cities.