Safavi. 'Death brought forward'
Ahmadinejad. 'Savage animal'
Jafari. 'Jewish state will vanish'
The assassination of a top commander of the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hizbullah has hastened the "certain death" of Israel, the top military advisor to Iran's supreme leader said on Thursday.
General Yahya Rahim Safavi, in the latest of a spate of anti-Israel verbal attacks by Iran, said the murder of Imad Mugniyah in a Damascus car bombing last week had enraged thousands of young members of Hizbullah.
"With this anger, the certain death of the Zionist regime had been brought forward," he said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.
Safavi, who was for a decade top commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, again accused Israel of carrying out the attack that killed Mugniyah but also said that "security terrorists" from the US and "one Arab nation" had cooperated.
He did not name the Arab country.
Iran has stepped up its rhetoric against Israel in the last days after the murder of Mugniyah, which it blamed on the Jewish state. Israel has denied any involvement.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday called Israel a "dirty microbe" and "savage animal".
The current head of the Revolutionary Guards, Iran's ideological army, Mohammad Ali Jafari, weighed in with a prediction that Hizbullah would destroy the Jewish state.
Israel said it had protested to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after Ahmadinejad's latest tirade.
"I have told the secretary general of the United Nations that these are demented remarks that are reminiscent of Nazi propaganda," ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman told Israeli public radio.