Tehran’s Friday Prayer Imam has suggested that Iran should launch a missile attack on Israel’s Dimona nuclear power plant.
In his Friday July 5 sermon, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, better known as Movahedi, addressed the United States and Israel, saying: “If Iran decides to confront you, a missile strike on the Dimona reactor would be enough,” threatening that the attack “will plough Israel 200 times.”
Dimona is an Israeli city in the Negev region, South of Beersheba and West of the Dead Sea. The city is nicknamed mini-India for its sizeable Indian Jewish community. The Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center is located about 13 kilometers to the southeast of the city.
Movahedi warned the United States and Israel about their vulnerability: “You are living in a glass house. You’d better watch out!”
He also warned the United States against a military attack on Iran. “Think of an attack only if you want to change the color of the Persian Gulf waters from azure to red.”
In another part of his sermon, Movahedi repeated President Hassan Rouhani’s threat against the European signatories of the 2015 nuclear agreement saying that “From July 7, we will enrich Uranium at any grade and form, and in any amount we may deem necessary.”
Although Movahedi is by no means a nuclear expert, the threat would mean violating the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
It has been observed in the past that Iranian officials let lesser ranking officials make reckless threats as a way of sending threatening messages but at the same time protect top officials from possible reactions and consequences for a while, before they to deny the comment or blame the media for “misreporting”.
Movahedi, who was one Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini’s representative to IRGC, touched upon the issue of suspension of some of Iran’s obligations under the JCPOA, adding that “Iran will continue enrichment to generate electricity and conduct scientific research. This enrichment is not for making a nuclear bomb, which Iran deems illegitimate and unnecessary.”
Directly addressing U.S. President Donal Trump the quick-tempered cleric called on him to “compare the United States’ authority with Iran’s.” He said: “Iran’s authority is marked by intelligence, creativity and humanity, while the United States’ authority is an embodiment of brutality, savagery and meanness!”
Movahedi further claimed that Trump called off a strike on Iran after IRGC downed a U.S. drone two weeks ago because, “You saw the corpses of U.S. troops before your eyes, and told yourself they have hit the drone that was flying 65,000 feet above the sea. What will they do to a ship that is just in front of them?”
Movahedi was not the only Iranian official whose rhetoric turned unusually violent on Friday. Earlier, Expediency Council Secretary former IRGC Commander Mohsen Rezaee and Mahdi Mohammadi, a hardline former nuclear negotiator called for attacking a British ships in the Persian Gulf in retaliation to the detention of an Iranian Super Tanker in Gibraltar that had violated EU sanctions against Syria by carrying Iranian oil to Syria.
Last year, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei changed his mind about appointing Movahedi as an interim chairman for the Expediency Council after a few weeks, probably fearing his occasional outlandish remarks could cause havoc in Iran’s domestic or international politics.
Some of Friday Prayer Imams in other Iranian cities have also made passing remarks about tensions in the region, but none was observed to make firebrand violent remarks.