Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has again expressed delight over the election of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom.
“I would like to congratulate my friend, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on a crushing election victory,” said Netanyahu. He added that the Conservative Party’s landslide victory also a crushing victory in the struggle against anti-Semitism.
The Israeli leader said he expects “to continue working with Boris Jonson in the coming years, in order to continue strengthening the excellent relations between Israel and Britain,” which is Israel’s second-most robust trade partner after the United States. Netanyahu said the strong bilateral ties are “evident in the vast mutual trade data, tourism and very many other areas. They are also substantial in security and counter-terrorism in hitherto unprecedented ways.”
He then turned the cabinet’s attention to the threat by a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander, General Morteza Qorbani, who said in recent days that if Israel “makes the smallest mistake toward Iran” by attacking the Islamic Republic, the Revolutionary Guards “will reduce Tel Aviv to ashes from Lebanon” without firing a single missile from Iranian territory. The Israeli Prime Minister underscored that Qorbani “revealed a simple truth: Hezbollah is simply Iran’s operational arm in Lebanon against Israel.”
The threat by the Iranian general also prompted an uproar in Beirut, where numerous Lebanese officials condemned it as “irresponsible” and “arrogant.” The vocal backlash in Lebanon quickly caused Iranian officials to attempt to downplay Tehran’s perceived influence in Beirut. Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah insisted in a speech televised over the weekend that “if someone harms Iran, it will defend itself,” and that “Iran would not let its allies respond” to aggression against the territory of the Islamic Republic.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed that even though Nasrallah immediately denied the IRGC commander’s remarks, both Hezbollah and Lebanon itself would be subject to fierce retaliation if its territory was used to launch an attack against the Jewish State. “I would like to clarify that if Nasrallah dares to attack Israel, the organization and the Lebanese state that enable attacks from its territory against us will pay a very heavy price,” vowed Netanyahu.