Iran begins air defense drill


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Iran began an air defense drill designed to protect its nuclear program, Iranian state television reported.

The war games, which began Sunday in western Iran, are reported to be "huge" and are scheduled to last five days, according to reports by the IRNA news agency.

A day before the start of the drill, an Iranian cleric warned that Iran would hit Tel Aviv if it is attacked by Israel, according to reports.

"If the enemy should want to test its bad luck in Iran, before the dust from its missiles settles in this country, Iran’s ballistic missiles would land in the heart of Tel Aviv," said Mojtaba Zolnour, a deputy of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards, according to IRNA. 

The Revolutionary Guards have joined the country’s regular army for this week’s drill. 

Also Sunday, an Israeli newspaper reported that Iran is bribing countries to vote against Israel in the United Nations.

Yediot Achronot said a report obtained by Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that Iran last year promised the Solomon Islands $200,000, as well as technological aid, in exchange for dropping its support of Israel in the United Nations.

The poor nation, which traditionally has supported Israel, began voting against the Jewish state several months ago, including voting for the adoption of the Goldstone report that accused Israel, as well as Hamas, of war crimes during last winter’s Gaza war.

The report also said, according to the newspaper, that Iran is trying to bribe Israel supporters Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.

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