The escalating tensions exhibited by Iran over the course of the past month reached a peak after a senior parliamentarian said that Israel will be destroyed within half an hour if the United States attacks Iran, reported Mehr news.
Mojtaba Zonnour, who was formerly the Supreme Leader's Deputy Representative to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said, "if the US attacks us, only half an hour will remain of Israel's lifespan."
In the interview with Tehran-based Al-Alam news network, he also called US President Donald Trump's last-minute decision to not launch a military attack on Iran was a "political bluff" and said that the US predicted the "failure" of their operation and decided to not go ahead with their plans.
Zonnour added that "Iran's power" has created deterrence against attacks. He also revealed that the 36 US military bases in the region are under surveillance by Iran.
Last month, Trump had called off plans of strikes on Iran after the Iranian Revolutionary Guards destroyed a US drone. The US has also accused Iran to have committed the Gulf of Oman tanker attacks. Iran has denied the allegations and stated that the country is responsible for the regional security in the Strait of Hormuz region.
Zonnour's statement came on the same day Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes against Syrian military compounds in Homs and Damascus. The attack led to four civilian casualties and wounded 21.
Iran's nuclear proliferation
On Tuesday, July 2, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that its inspectors have found that Iran has produced more enriched uranium than the permissible limit of 300kg long before the Iran nuclear deal was abandoned by US, reported Fars news agency.
Enriched uranium is used to make nuclear reactor fuel as well as military nuclear weapons. The atomic agency monitors supplies and processes to restrict nuclear weapon proliferation.
It is reported that Iran stepped up its production in retaliation to the sanctions imposed by the US after the Trump administration abandoned the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.
US President Donald Trump warned that Iran was "playing with fire" after exceeding the limit. Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied the allegation of violating the deal before US imposed sanctions. However, he confirmed the statement of increase in uranium enrichment and said the decision was based on the nation's economic interests following US sanctions.
"We had previously announced this and we have said it transparently what we are going to do," Zarif said. "We are going to act according to what we have announced and we consider it our right reserved in the nuclear deal."