(Haaretz) – Iran will defeat the American and Israeli alliance, Iran’s Minister of Defense Amir Hatami said on Wednesday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). “We will defeat the American-Zionist front,” he said. The official’s comments come amid spiraling U.S.-Iranian tensions and the arrival of a major U.S. aircraft carrier group to the region, and on the heels of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Moscow.

The Kremlin said Pompeo’s visit failed to allay its concerns over the ongoing crisis. Pompeo made a surprise visit to Baghdad this month after U.S. intelligence showed Iran-backed Shi’ite militias positioning rockets near bases housing U.S. forces, according to two Iraqi security sources. He told Iraq’s top brass to keep the militias, which are expanding their power in Iraq and now form part of its security apparatus, in check, the sources said. If not, the U.S. would respond with force. READ MORE

Haaretz is an Israeli newspaper. It was founded in 1918, making it the longest running newspaper currently in print in Israel, and is now published in both Hebrew and English in the Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International New York Times.