Senior Iranian officials are warning that terror groups sponsored by the Islamic Republic have been so thoroughly armed that they can "annihilate" Israel in any future conflict.
As the issue of Iran's funding of terrorism—which has grown since it received millions of dollars in cash windfalls as a result of the now-defunct nuclear agreement—continues to plague U.S. leaders and Arab countries, Tehran is signaling that its investment in these terror groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah has provided them with the military capability to destroy the Jewish state.
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"Friends and enemies admit that today Israel is in its worst conditions and the fighters in Palestine and Lebanon are at the peak of their preparedness to confront any aggression by the Zionists and end the disgraceful life of the fake and criminal regime," General Ramezan Sharif, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps public relations department, said on Wednesday.
The comments come as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo engages in a weeklong tour of the Middle East to galvanize leaders to confront the Iranian regime. Iran's support for terror groups targeting Israel and other Middle Eastern allies has topped the agenda in Pompeo's meetings, according to U.S. officials.
"This is a full-scale reality and it is even admitted by the fronts which support the Zionists," Sharif said in remarks carried by Iran's state-controlled media.
Iran's Supreme Leader appeared to echo these comments in his own remarks.
"Do not retreat against the U.S. and Europe's threats, bullying and prates and stand against them and know that neither their threats nor their promises and even signatures are creditable," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying Wednesday.
The IRGC leader said Iran's support for Hezbollah and "Palestinian resistance groups" has grown "so much powerful" that they now have the ability to deal a devastating blow to Israel, according to Iran's Fars News Agency.
Israeli officials have confirmed this information in recent remarks warning of Hezbollah's massive array of armaments on Israel's northern border.
Iranian officials have been offering a flurry of provocative comments as Pompeo makes his way through the Middle East.
In separate remarks on Wednesday, Iran's foreign ministry vowed to retaliate against Europe for its recent imposition of sanctions on Tehran as a result of its attempt to assassinate high-profile targets on European soil.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran will adopt the necessary measures in response to this move within the framework of reciprocal acts," Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.