Iran's Defense Minister threatens Israel

Photo: Iran's Defense Minister threatens Israel / Iran

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 19 /Trend S.Isayev, D. Khatinoglu/

Iran's Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi has issued a threatening message to Israel, ISNA news agency reported.

"Iran keeps its right for retaliation of the assasination of IRGC General Hassan Shateri," Vahidi said.

Iranian officials said Shateri was shot and killed while traveling from Damascus to Beirut. A spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards blamed the attack on "mercenaries and supporters" of Israel.

Syrian rebel groups offered varying accounts of his death.

The Free Syrian Army said he died in an Israeli air strike last month on a Syrian military center near Damascus, while other rebels said he was killed earlier this week near the Lebanese border.

Iranian officials and semi-official media outlets said Shateri was in charge of reconstruction projects in southern Lebanon.

"This terror act shows Israeli regime's desperation," Vahidi noted. "The Zionist regime is on the road of collapse, and Iran reserves the right to respond to such actions."

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