In a fiery message, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps deputy commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami issued a warning to Israel.
Speaking at a rally in Isfahan, central Iran on Friday, Mr Salami said: “I tell the prime minister of the Zionist regime to practice swimming in the Mediterranean because soon you will have no choice but to flee into the sea.”
Addressing IRGC volunteers, the commander added: “They are not at the level of being a threat for us; Hezbollah is enough for destroying them.”
Accusing Tel Aviv of deceiving the world about Iran, the senior officer accused Israel of acting as a “political mannequin” in the US shop window.
Salami also praised what he called the “thunderous” October 1st missile strikes against Daesh in Syria.
Iran retaliated following the September 22nd terrorist attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, Iran which left 25 people dead and dozens more injured.
The comments were made while Germany’s Angela Merkel was holding bilateral talks with Israel’s leader.
Directly addressing the issue when speaking with the media as part of her trip, Ms Merkel stated Iranian troops in Syria near its border with Israel was unacceptable, adding that the issue was discussed with Russian and Israeli authorities.
“Iran cannot be present near the border with Israel in the Golan Heights,” Ms Merkel said.
She noted the topic had been discussed at a meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister, as well as previously with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
She added: “We also talked about the fact that Iranian troops should withdraw from Syria.
“We also discussed this with the Russian president.”
Tensions have been high between Iran and Israel, and those tensions worsened last week at the UN General Assembly meeting, with the two countries exchanging barbs over Syria and Iran’s alleged secret nuclear weapons program.
Last Thursday, the Israeli Prime Minister claimed Tel Aviv had discovered a second secret nuclear facility in Tehran, and vowed Israel would “never” accept the efforts of “a regime that calls for our destruction to develop nuclear weapons”.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif shot back, saying Israel was the “only regime in our region with a secret and undeclared weapons program – including an actual atomic arsenal”.
Iran severed all diplomatic and commercial relations with Israel after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and has repeatedly declared that the “Zionist regime” would disappear in the event of a war with Iran.
In 2015, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that “in 25 years’ time, with the grace of God, no such thing as the Zionist regime will exist in the region”.