Iranian commander threatens Israel's destruction if it attacks: state TV

EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, speaks during Tehran's Friday prayers July 16, 2010. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

DUBAI (Reuters) - A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander on Monday threatened Israel with destruction if it attacks Iran, state

media reported.

The comments by Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, followed an Israeli attack on Iranian targets in Syria last week - the latest in a series of assaults targeting Tehran's presence there in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

"We announce that if Israel takes any action to wage a war against us, it will definitely lead to its own elimination and the freeing of occupied (Palestinian) territories," Salami said, quoted by state television.

Iranian officials have previously said Tehran, which does not recognize Israel, would respond swiftly to any Israeli attack.

Israel backed U.S. President Donald Trump's move to back out of the 2015 international deal on Iran's nuclear program and welcomed Washington's reimposition of sanctions on the country.

Israel sees Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs as a threat to its existence. Iran says its nuclear work is for peaceful purposes only.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Angus MacSwan)