An Iranian defence official warned that “if Israel makes a mistake, even if it is the smallest one, against Iran, we will flatten Tel Aviv into dirt from Lebanon… Our fighters' fingers are on the trigger on the order of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. If the Leader gives an order to attack Israel with missiles - the Zionists [ie, Israel] will raise their hands and surrender”. Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz subsequently responded by emphasising that “Israel is not the helpless protesters being slaughtered by the ayatollah regime in Iran and Iraq. We will be able to respond forcefully to any threat or attack”. “[Hizbollah chief Hassan] Nasrallah has shown himself as Iran’s doll”, Katz added. Lebanon’s defence minister subsequently asserted that “if what is attributed to the adviser to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard head is true, then it is unfortunate and unacceptable, and it violates the sovereignty of Lebanon, which has ties to the Islamic Republic of Iran, a friendship that cannot affect the independence of Lebanon in any way”. An IRGC spokesperson subsequently maintained that the “remarks have been misinterpreted and misquoted by the media”.
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