The defense minister of Iran has warned that a military strike against his country by Israel will lead to the destruction of the Jewish state, according to state-run television in Iran.

“A military attack by the Zionist regime [against Iran] will undoubtedly lead to the collapse of this regime,” said Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, although he reportedly did not explain how such destruction would occur.

Vahidi’s comments on state-controlled Press TV appear to be the most explicit statement from Iran that any attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities by Israel would prompt a deadly retaliation.

Vahidi also said: “The Zionist regime [Israel] is on the verge of dissolution… Israeli officials’ remarks about launching an attack against Iran are [ridiculous].”

In the past Iran has threatened to strike Israel with missiles, or use its proxies like Hezbollah or Hamas to launch military strikes onto Israel.

According to reports Iran possesses missiles with a range of about 1,250 miles (which would easily place Israel within the target area).

Israel, the U.S. and the European Union believe Iran is developing nuclear weapons – a program that could potentially spell doom for Israel. However, Iran has long insisted its atomic program is designed for peaceful purposes. Nonetheless, speculation is spiraling that Israel may take to the air to destroy Iran’s nascent nuclear sites as early as this spring.

The United Nations has reported that the Iranians have tripled their rate of enriched uranium production over the past three months. Iran has also refused to cooperate with UN inspectors who want to see the nuclear program up close – raising fears Iran is developing a bomb.

Israel is also worried about reports that the Iranians may be transporting more of its nuclear project installations underground where they might be impervious to aerial attacks. In addition, there is apparently more than one such site and they are spread across the large country.