A top Iranian military official says Tehran will retaliate with bomb strikes if Israel attacks Iran.

The Iranian news agency, Fars, Wednesday quoted Air Force Deputy Commander for Operations Mohammad Alavi as saying that Tehran has a plan to bomb Israel in case of an attack on its soil.

White House Spokeswoman Dana Perino said the Iranian statement is not helpful. She said Israel does not seek war with its neighbors.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev said Israel and the international community take seriously what he called Iran's "threat."

The Fars report comes at a time of rising tension between Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear program. On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said, "We must be prepared for the worst, and the worst is war."

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit Wednesday said Cairo is opposed to any military action against Iran over its nuclear program. He said Egypt supports a peaceful settlement of the impasse.

Egypt is working on improving its own relations with Iran, which have been frozen since 1980.

Gheit said Iran should have a right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for producing energy.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.