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Iran official berates Israel’s ‘strike budget,’ warns of 'shocking response'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani

Iran’s security chief brushes aside reports about Israel's budget for a potential attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, saying the regime must consider the colossal cost of repair after Tehran’s “shocking” response.

The Times of Israel, citing a report published by Channel 12, reported earlier this week that Israeli officials had approved a budget of five billion shekels ($1.5 billion) to purchase high-powered weapons and equipment in preparation for a possible attack against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Around $600 million will be added to the previous $900 million budget for acquiring aircraft, intelligence-gathering drones, and weapons that can destroy heavily fortified underground sites, the report said.

The claims drew a stern warning from Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani in tweets he posted in Persian, Arabic, English and Hebrew on Sunday.

“Instead of allocating 1.5 billion dollars budget for atrocities against #Iran, the Zionist regime should focus on providing tens of thousands of billion dollars funding to repair the damage that is going to be caused by Iran's shocking response,” Shamkhani said.

Last month, Iran’s Army commander said the Israeli military’s claims that it had sped up alleged Iran strike plans were serving as a death march for the regime’s rulers.

“It looks like the heads of the Zionist regime have sensed the speed with which their lives are waning,” chief commander of Iran's Army, Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi said on September 8.

“Maybe, they want to commit suicide for fear of death,” he added.

The comments came a day after chief of staff for Israeli military forces, Aviv Kohavi, alleged in an interview with the Walla news site that the regime had “greatly accelerated” preparations for action against Iran’s nuclear energy program.

Kohavi further claimed that the Tel Aviv regime had “greatly diminished Iran’s presence” to the north of the occupied territories.

His claim of being able to reduce the Iranian presence in the region comes while the Islamic Republic has been maintaining a robust military advisory role throughout the region, especially in Iraq and Syria.

On July 27, the chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) warned the enemies that any military action against the Islamic Republic would backfire on the perpetrators, stressing that all the conspiracies against the country are doomed to failure.

“Despite all of their plots and contrivances, the enemies of the Iranian nation have found out today that [issuing] military threats against us is useless,” Major General Hossein Salami said.

However, “military warfare does no longer rank among the enemy’s choices”, he added.

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