Iran general assails Israel, commemorates Hezbollah figure
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A top Iranian general has lashed out at Israel during a commemoration for a Hezbollah figure killed in a 2008 Damascus car bombing that the group blamed on Israel.
Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force, pledged retaliation for Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah’s ex-military chief who was considered one of the world’s most-wanted terrorists by Israel and the United States.
Soleimani says the appropriate revenge for Mughniyeh’s slaying is “not launching one missile or killing one person, but the dismantling and uprooting of the baby-killing Zionist regime.”
Iranian leaders have long called for destruction of Israel. In 2015, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel would become extinct in 25 years.
Iran does not recognize Israel and supports anti-Israeli militant groups such as the Palestinian Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah group.