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Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Iran ready to fight fire with fire
TEHRAN (Press TV) -- Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad warns that the country will harshly respond to any strike against its nuclear installations.
At a Sunday military parade, President Ahmadinejad said the Iranian armed forces would ‘break the arms of aggressors’ should they dare and try to ‘overstep the boundaries of the Islamic Republic’.
The parade, which marks the 28th anniversary of the Iraqi war on Iran, displayed Iran’s defensive capabilities at a time when speculation is running rife that Israel and the U.S. are drawing up plans to strike Iranian nuclear sites.
Washington and Tel Aviv have long threatened Tehran with war under the pretext that Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), is hell-bent on developing nuclear weapons.
The allegation comes contrary to the findings of the UN nuclear watchdog, which - according to its latest report on Iran’s nuclear activities - has not been able to find any ‘components of a nuclear weapon’ or ‘related nuclear physics studies’ in Iran.
The UN body has extensively monitored Iranian nuclear facilities and activities since 2003.
In his televised address at the parade, President Ahmadinejad brushed aside the issued threats as ‘psychological warfare’, saying that neither Washington nor Tel Aviv would be able to endure the repercussions of a strike on Iran.
“Iran will not be lenient toward aggressors,” he cautioned.
Analysts believe a joint U.S.-Israeli military aggression could create superior firepower in the event of an attack against Iran, but both allies would be exceptionally prone to retaliatory measures by Tehran - which possesses long- and medium-range missiles capable of hitting targets within a 2,000-kilometer range.
It has been suggested that 32 U.S. military bases in the Middle East as well as Israel itself could be targeted by Iranian missiles.
“Those who deprived Iran of the simplest defensive technologies and slapped economic sanctions on Iran should closely look at the defensive achievements made by Iranian armed forces,” President Ahmadinejad said.
Under U.S. pressure, the United Nations Security Council has so far imposed three rounds of sanctions against Iran in a bid to economically cripple the country.
Iranian military commanders have warned that in case of a war, the strategic Strait of Hormuz would be shut down, cutting as much as 40 percent of the world’s sea-transited oil supplies.
A recent study, conducted by the Bipartisan Policy Center and prepared under the guidance of former senators Republican Daniel Coats and Democrat Charles Robb, concluded that a military strike against Iran’s nuclear sites is ‘a feasible option and must remain a last resort’ to halt Tehran’s nuclear development.
The study, however, warned that any strike against Iran ‘could quickly escalate to full-scale war’.