TEHRAN — Iran’s highest Revolutionary Guards commander issued a threat against Israel after the death of an Iranian general in an Israeli helicopter strike along the border with Syria, saying that “destructive thunderbolts” awaited.
The commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari, said in a statement distributed by the state news media on Tuesday that the fact that an Iranian general had been so close to Israeli territory proved that Iran’s power “has passed over geographical borders.”
The Iranian general, Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, was killed along with a Hezbollah commander and the son of the group’s former military leader, Imad Mughniyeh, in Sunday’s attack on a Hezbollah convoy near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
After issuing a ritual denunciation of the “Zionist regime,” Mr. Jafari said: “These martyrdoms prove that we should not distance ourselves from the jihad; the Zionists should prepare themselves for our shattering thunderbolt. They have experienced our rage in the past.”
Iran has often threatened Israel after attacks on its regional allies, Hezbollah and Syria, and an Iranian analyst said that the commander’s threats, like others in the past, were mostly for domestic consumption.
“He is addressing his troops after some of them were martyred,” said Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, an Iranian Arab affairs analyst. “Just like Israel makes statements for domestic consumption, we do, too.”
More important, said an Iranian analyst close to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is the country’s growing willingness to acknowledge its military expansion in the region….