Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the chief of the Basji Militia of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, declared that "erasing Israel off the map" is "nonnegotiable."
Israeli Radio reported the militia chief's comments Tuesday, which also included threats against Saudi Arabia for its campaign against the Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. The Saudis, warned Naqdi, would share the "fate of Saddam Hussein."
As the Times of Israel notes, Naqdi has spoken openly in the past about Iran's military strategy against Israel:
In 2014, Naqdi said Iran was stepping up efforts to arm West Bank Palestinians for battle against Israel, adding the move would lead to Israel’s annihilation, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.
“Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region,” Naqdi said.
“The Zionists should know that the next war won’t be confined to the present borders and the Mujahedeen will push them back,” he added. Naqdi claimed that much of Hamas’s arsenal, training and technical knowhow in the summer conflict with Israel was supplied by Iran.
The United States Institute of Peace describes the Basij militia as a "volunteer paramilitary organization operating under the Islamic Revolutionary Guards," with auxiliary duties, "especially internal security, law enforcement, special religious or political events and morals policing." The group has acquired more sway since 2009, political events having "increased the force’s political and economic influence and contributed to the militarization of the Iranian regime."