Israel will be 'destroyed' if Trump chooses war: Iran

Israel will be 'destroyed' if Trump chooses war: Iran
If the US under Donald Trump's administration chooses to go to war with Iran, Israel and small Arab Gulf states will be destroyed, Iran's defence minister warned on Sunday
2 min read
13 December, 2016
Dehghan said Iran's enemies seek to impose a war on the Islamic Republic [AFP]
Israel will be "destroyed" if the US - under Donald Trump's administration - starts a war with Iran, Tehran's defence minister warned on Sunday.

Israel and small Gulf Arab states will fall victims to threats to peace in the region, Tehran said, after Trump voiced a possibility his administration may choose a "different path" on the nuclear deal reached between Iran and six world powers last year.

"Enemies may want to impose a war on us based on false calculations and only taking into consideration their material capabilities," Reuters reported semi-official Mehr news agency quoting Hossein Dehghan.

"Such a war would mean the destruction of the Zionist regime [Israel] ... and will engulf the whole region and could lead to a world war," Dehghan warned.

"Among other consequences of the war, would be the destruction of the city-states on the southern shore of the Persian Gulf, because they lack popular support," Dehghan added, referring to Western-allied Gulf states, including the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar.

"Even though a businessman, the assistants that ... [Trump] has chosen may map a different path for him, and this has led to unease, particularly among Persian Gulf countries," he said. 

"Considering Trump's character and that he measures the cost of everything in dollars, it does not seem likely that he would take strong action against our country," he added. 

A nuclear deal, signed in Vienna in July 2015 and in force since January, was the signature diplomatic breakthrough of US President Barack Obama's second term.

It called on Tehran to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief from the US and other nations. 

Trump has promised to tear up the nuclear deal once in office, calling the agreement under which it was implemented - the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - the "worst deal ever negotiated".

Several fellow Republicans remain vehemently opposed to the nuclear deal and have called for it to be scrapped.

In another stumbling block for the deal, the US Congress voted earlier this month to renew longstanding sanctions linked to Iran's ballistic missile tests and human rights record. These pre-date the controversy around Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Washington says these 10-year sanctions have nothing to do with the nuclear agreement, but Iran says the continuing restrictions breach its spirit, particularly since they have discouraged international banks from returning to the country.