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…and vows to destroy Israel if Donald Trump “provokes” the Middle East nation

  • Iranian Defense Minister has threatened world war if Trump provokes nation
  • Hossein Dehghan warned that it could lead to the “destruction” of Israel
  • During campaign, Trump was strongly critical of the agreement signed last year
  • However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been a fierce critic of the agreement, said he wanted to work with Trump to dismantle the deal

The Iranian defense minister has threatened a world war if Donald Trump provokes the nation and warned it could lead to the “destruction” of Israel and small Gulf Arab states.

Trump’s election victory has raised the prospect the US will pull out of the nuclear pact it signed with Iran last year.

During his campaign, Trump was strongly critical of the agreement that saw Iran agree to limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions on its oil industry and finances.

In September 2015, the billionaire told a crowd: “Any commander-in-chief worthy of defending this nation should be prepared to stand up on 20 January 2017 [inauguration day]and rip to shreds this catastrophic deal.”

He also called the deal a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated”.

This has led to panic among US allies in the Gulf, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan has claimed.

“Even though a businessman, the assistants that… (Trump) has chosen may map a different path for him, and this has led to unease, particularly among Persian Gulf countries,” Dehghan told a security conference in Tehran, according to Iran’s Mehr news agency.

“Considering Trump’s character and that he measures the cost of everything in dollars, it does not seem likely that he would take strong action against our country,” he said.

“Enemies may want to impose a war on us based on false calculations and only taking into consideration their material capabilities…”

“Such a war would mean the destruction of the Zionist regime (Israel)… and will engulf the whole region and could lead to a world war,” Mehr quoted Dehghan as saying.

“Among other consequences of the war, would be the destruction of the city-states on the southern shore of the Persian Gulf, because they lack popular support,” Dehghan said, referring to small Western-allied Gulf states such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.

However Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been a fierce critic of the agreement, hoped he could work with Trump to dismantle the deal.

He said: “I know Donald Trump. And I think his attitude, his support for Israel is clear. He feels very warmly about the Jewish state, about the Jewish people.”

Pressed on what those options might be, Netanyahu said he had “about five things in my mind”, but did not elaborate.

Iran has long backed armed groups committed to Israel’s destruction and its leaders have called for it to be wiped off the map.

Israel fears Iran’s nuclear program is designed to threaten its existence.

Tehran and most Gulf states are on opposite sides in Middle East conflicts, with the Islamic republic an ally of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s bloody civil war and of the armed Houthi movement fighting a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen.


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