An Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities would lead to the Jewish state's demise within a week, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbhar Salehi said Thursday.
"If Israel ever, ever makes this mistake - that will set the time for the end of Israel. The Israelis are well aware of this," Salehi said during an interview with Danish television TV2.
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"What is Israel? It is such a small country," said Salehi, the former head of Iran's atomic energy organization. "It is so small that it wouldn't last one week in a real war. Not even one week.
The top Iranian diplomat warned that in case of an Israeli attack the Islamic Republic would respond "very forcefully."
Earlier Thursday, Salehi met in Tehran with senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Zahar. During the meeting the Iranian FM condemned the Israeli air strikes on Gaza, calling them "savage attacks by the Zionist regime against the innocent Palestinian population.
"Support for the Palestinian population is part of our principles and religious beliefs and we are certain that the Palestinian people will triumph," Salehi said. Zahar, in return, thanked Iran for its "limitless support."
Meanwhile, Reuters reported Thursday that vessels carrying at least 396,832 tons of grain are lined up to unload in Iran, a sign that Tehran is succeeding in stockpiling food to blunt the impact of tougher Western sanctions.
Iran has been shopping for wheat at a frantic pace, ordering a large part of its expected yearly requirement in a little over one month and paying a premium in non-dollar currencies to work around toughened Western sanctions and avoid social unrest.
Food shipments are not targeted under western sanctions aimed at Iran's disputed nuclear program, but financial measures have frozen Iranian firms out of much of the global banking system.
Reuters, news agencies contributed to the report
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