Iran will harshly confront Israel "wherever it feels necessary" - Iranian commander

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DUBAI, April 14 (Reuters) - Iran will harshly confront Israel "wherever it feels necessary", Esmail Qaani, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, said on Thursday, according to the semi-official Nour News agency.

In March, Tehran targeted what it called "secret Israeli bases" during a missile attack on Iraq's northern Kurdish regional capital of Erbil. The assault was meant to avenge Israeli air strikes that killed Iranian military personnel in Syria.

"Wherever we identify a Zionist threat, we will harshly confront them, they are too small to confront us," said Qaani, whose unit is in control of the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations.

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The commander pledged to support any group that fights the "Zionist regime" and added that "the destruction of this regime is gaining ground."

Tensions deepened at a time when Iran and world powers were engaged in talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, which Israel opposes.

While not a party to the nuclear negotiations between Iran and world powers in Vienna, Israel has conferred with the U.S. administration in hope of wielding more clout over any revival of a deal with Tehran that was reached over its objections.

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Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Toby Chopra, Michael Georgy and Tomasz Janowski

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