The move comes in the form of a map published in the Tehran Times outlining multiple points of interest on a map of Israel, and comes with the chilling warning: “Just one wrong move.” Tension is high between the two nations who are fighting what some academics describe as a “shadow war” over Iran’s nuclear programme. Israel has sought to destabilise the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna, threatening to take its own action against Iran should it deem necessary.
Iran insists that its nuclear programme is for peaceful civilian purposes, and is a signatory member of the Non-proliferation Treaty, or NPT, unlike Israel which is believed to have in excess of 300 nuclear weapons.
The so-called P4+1, consisting of France, Germany, China, Russia and the UK are currently negotiating with Iranian diplomats over allowing the US to re-join the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.
The map which will appear in the next edition of the Iran based English language newspaper has hundreds of targets littered along the length of Israel.
The warning comes as Israeli Defence Forces struck targets in Syria claiming the action was a direct message to Iran.
The chief of staff of the Israeli army has also accepted to increase the number of troops in the air force and the intelligence branch of the Israeli army to prepare for an attack on Iran, according to the Israeli media outlets.
Major General Mohammad Bagheri, the Chief of General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, said on Tuesday that Iran never underestimates the enemy’s threats.
He stated: “Despite our confidence in the deterrence situation of the country, our forces have never underestimated the threat of the enemy and are prepared for the smallest of threats in the strategic field.”
The Iranian commander noted that the military is in “maximum vigilance commensurate with the enemy’s situation.”
Gen Bagheri asserted: “At the strategic level, we do not intend to strike anyone, but at the operational and tactical level we are ready for a decisive response and a quick and tough offensive against the enemy.”
Mr Bagheri said the missile strike on the US airbase in western Iraq and the downing of the US strategic drone with indigenous systems have been noticed by everyone, and these moves are especially instructive for “the adventurous enemies.”
On December 8, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed that it will hold a large-scale exercise over the Mediterranean in the spring with dozens of aircraft simulating a strike against Iran’s nuclear program.
According to the IDF, the drill will be one of the largest ever held by the Israeli Air Force and will include dozens of aircraft, including the F-15, F-35, and F-16 fighters, Gulfstream G550 spy planes, and refuelling jets.
Israel has recently seen an order for multiple jet refuelling tankers delayed, prompting Tel Aviv to ask Washington to speed up the process.
Boeing has received a £1.81billion ($2.4billion) contract for eight of the planes, with the first delivery scheduled for late 2024.
The bill for the jets will be footed by the US taxpayer as part of the US – Israeli defence accords.
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Iran has stated that it is willing to allow nuclear experts to examine key sites in the county following the seventh round of talks in Vienna.
However, it has also stated that it will defend its sovereignty against any aggression.
The commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Force says the Islamic Republic will never initiate a war with any country but always stands ready to give a crushing response to any act of aggression.
Brigadier General Hamid Vahedi made the remarks while addressing an event attended by commanders and instructors at Shahid Sattari Aeronautical University on Monday.
The military chief said: “We in the Air Force will spare no effort to upgrade our combat capability and readiness to give a smart response to any type of aerial threat.”
Stating that Iran’s policy is purely defensive, he added: “Our doctrine is defensive and we do not intend to invade any country, but … we will stand against any act of aggression with full power.”