By YASSER OKBI/MAARIV
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s nuclear program, warned Israel on Monday, “If nuclear scientists are killed in Iran, consequences will be severe.”
Salehi’s statement came in the broader context of Iranian scientists who were assassinated in a number of mysterious explosions in recent years. Iranian government officials pointed a finger at Israel, however, Israel has not taken responsibility for the killings.
Even with the collapse of the nuclear agreement between Tehran and the five remaining powers, Salehi vowed that the Iranian nuclear program would be strong.
“Trump’s decision to quit the agreement placed him on the side of the losers in history,” Salehi declared. “The agreement could pave the way for building confidence and security that was previously lost.”
Isaac Herzog, the head of the Jewish Agency, mentioned that if the agreement collapsed, Iran’s nuclear program would be “stronger” than it was before the agreement was signed.
In an earlier statement, Salehi said, “Iran has completed the construction of a facility to build advanced centrifuges.”
Tehran has made a number of statements concerning the expansion of uranium enrichment activities in the country, in the event that the nuclear agreement collapses completely after the US withdrawal.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei called on his country’s armed forces to increase their strength to “deter the enemy.”
Khamenei order the military to “increase its strength as much as possible because the military’s strength deters our enemies and forces them to retreat.”
“American and the Zionist regime are trying to stop the rise of an Islamic power in the Middle East,” said Khamenei. “They know that the fascinating message of Islam is the protection of the oppressed and the dispossessed, so they fear the creation of a power based on Islam.”
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In an implicit reference to demonstrations against the regime, Khamenei also warned Iranian youth of “the enemy’s desperate attempts to lure and influence” Iran in cyberspace and in the public and private spheres.
“The enemy is very active in many frontiers, which calls for alertness, unity and reliance on God to overcome them,” claimed the Iranian ruler.
“The Iranian forces will not hesitate for a moment to respond to any aggression by Iran’s enemies,” said Iranian Army commander Gen. Mohammad Bakri. “Although our country is under many threats, it is considered the most stable and safe country.”
“The enemy harms stability in the region in order to give himself an excuse to continue his presence,” Bakri said. “On one hand, the enemy invents the terrorist groups and on the other, the enemy acts to destroy them.”