Iran warned Israel today of retaliation against its nuclear facility if the Jewish state attacked Iranian nuclear sites.
Chief of Staff General Hasan Firouzabadi said Iran hoped there would not “be a need to target the nuclear facility of the Zionist regime”, but if there was Israel would receive “dreadful retribution”.
Israel’s main nuclear reactor is near Dimona in the Negev desert.
Firouzabadi was speaking on Quds Day, an annual state-backed anti-Israel rally in Iran, according to the Mehr news agency.
Iranian officials often use the occasion to make threatening remarks against Israel.
Israel has not ruled out a military strike against Iran’s nuclear sites.
Tehran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes. Israel and the West fear Iran aims to develop nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, pro-government militiamen attacked the home of an Iranian opposition leader with homemade bombs and beat one of his bodyguards unconscious, in an apparent attempt to keep him from attending a key rally.
Mahdi Karroubi’s guards had to fire gunshots in the air to clear crowds that broke down the door of his home last night after days of gatherings outside, said the Sahamnews website, which supports Iran’s pro-reform movement.
The attackers were members of the plainclothes Basij militia, which led the crackdown on protests that swept the country in response to allegations of fraud in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s June 2009 re-election.
Karroubi was one of the pro-reform candidates who ran against Ahmadinejad.