A military official in Tehran has warned that aggressors will pay a “heavy price” in response to numerous reports that Israel was seeking US help, or at least approval, in preparing potential strikes on Iranian nuclear sites.

Since talks resumed last week aimed at breathing new life into the nuclear pact struck between Iran and world powers in 2015, a steady stream of reports in Israeli and US media hypothesized about possible “other options,” if diplomacy fails. According to the latest stories, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz informed US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin about preparations and drills for a potential military strike against the country’s arch-nemesis during his visit to the US.

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Any such drills, if they violate Iranian airspace, would be considered an act of aggression that won’t go unanswered, an unnamed military official told Iran’s semi-official Nournews news agency, which is allegedly affiliated with the Supreme National Security Council.

Providing conditions for military commanders to test Iranian missiles with real targets will cost the aggressors a heavy price.

The hostile rhetoric comes amid renewed talks in Vienna over the landmark 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The negotiations have not gone far, with Tehran continuing to demand that Washington lifts its sanctions in full.

“We will definitely agree to nothing less than [the original JCPOA] agreement and this will certainly be a red line for the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the nation’s lead negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, told Press TV on Saturday.

The JCPOA agreement effectively fell apart after then-US President Donald Trump unilaterally walked away from it back in 2018, accusing Tehran of somehow violating the “spirit” of the deal. Since then, Washington has re-imposed old sanctions and introduced new measures against Tehran. Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic has gradually suspended its JCPOA obligations, ramping up uranium enrichment and expanding its nuclear program.