Israeli minister Hanegbi boasts his country has been 'killing Iranians'
An Israeli minister said Sunday that Israel is "the only country in the world which has been killing Iranians for two years already." Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi made the comment in an Israeli radio interview about heightened tensions between Iran and the United States.
An Israeli minister boasted Sunday that his country was the only one that "has been killing Iranians", after tensions between Britain and Iran rose in the Gulf.
Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi's comments to public radio were a reference to Israeli strikes in neighbouring Syria against Iranian and Hezbollah military targets.
Hanegbi accused Iran, Israel's main enemy, of seeking to create "chaos" and "harm freedom of navigation."
The response followed a question regarding Washington's "cautious response" to a row between its key ally Britain and Iran over oil tankers that have been seized by the two countries.
The interviewer asked Hanegbi if didn't make him think about what would happen if Israel entered a confrontation with Iran.
"We strike the Iranians hundreds of times in Syria - sometimes we admit it and sometimes foreign reports reveal it, ... sometimes the chief of staff [reveals it], sometimes the outgoing air force chief [reveals it], but it's all coordinated policy." he said.
"And you see the Iranians are very restrained in their responses, and it's not because they don't have abilities, but because they understand that Israel means business," the minister added.
The Tehran-based Press TV network tweeted in response: "This is how Israelis are freely and proudly talking about killing Iranians! Just imagine what would happen if it was the other way around!"
Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in a similar vein last week with cadets at the national security college.
"At the moment, the only army in the world to fight Iran is the Israeli army," he said.
Earlier this month, Netanyahu warned that Israeli fighter jets "can reach anywhere in the Middle East, including Iran".
Iran's seizure of a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking "international maritime rules" came some two weeks after Britain seized an Iranian tanker at the mouth of the Mediterranean on allegations of breaching UN sanctions against Syria.