Iran Rejects French Warning It Risks Israeli Strike

A02556041.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iran dismissed on Saturday a warning by France’s president that the Islamic Republic was taking a dangerous gamble over its nuclear program because one day its arch-foe Israel could strike.

Government Spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham accused Israel of threatening global peace but reiterated Tehran’s publicly stated view that it was not in a position to attack Iran.

Separately, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) was quoted as saying that new long-range missiles had strengthened Iran’s defensive capabilities.

“Today, the enemy does not dare to attack Iran, as it knows that it will receive fatal blows from Iran if it ventures into such a stupid act,” Nour Ali Shoushtari said in the city of Qazvin, press tv reported.

Western powers accuse Iran, the world’s fourth-largest oil exporter, of seeking the atom bomb under the cover of a civilian nuclear program. Iran denies the charge, saying it only wants to master atomic technology in order to generate electricity.

The United States and Israel have always stressed that military action remains an option.

During a visit to Damascus on Thursday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Iran was “taking a major risk in continuing the process to obtain nuclear capacity.” He added, “One day … we could find one morning that Israel has struck.”

In response the Iranian government spokesman said Israel is too vulnerable to think of waging an attack on the Islamic Republic.

“These threats are because of weakness … and it reflects the reality and the war-seeking nature of the Zionist regime,” he said.

“This regime is not big enough and does not have the capacity to want to think about a war with Iran,” Elham added.

“Is Sarkozy the spokesman of the usurping, false regime of Israel? In that case, we recommend that he not move along this path,” Elham said.

He added that such threats only indicate the extreme weakness of France and portrays the warmongering and terroristic nature of Israel.

“The occupying regime of Qods is based on violation of human rights and paying no heed to UN Security Council resolutions or human and international values and criteria.”

“Israel takes every opportunity to threaten international peace,” Iran’s government spokesman said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is a powerful system which moves on the path of peace, security and friendship…No one can impose any threat against it,” Elham stressed.

Israel, long assumed to have its own atomic arsenal, has sworn to prevent Iran from emerging as a nuclear-armed power.

Speculation about a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities has risen since Israel staged an air force exercise in June which was reported to be a simulation of a strike against Iran. Iran says it would hit back if attacked.

In response Iran said in July that it test-fired nine missiles, including a “new” Shahab 3 missile, which could reach targets 2,000 km (1,250 miles)away. Iran has also reminded that Israel and US bases in the Persian Gulf are in its range.

Shoushtari, deputy commander of the Guards’ ground force, said progress in developing military equipment including long-range missiles “has added to our ability to prevent an enemy attack”.

Tel Aviv and Washington’s intensified threats against Tehran contradict a recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s nuclear plans and activities.

Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head – one in November and the other one in February – which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions or launch military attack on Iran seems to be completely irrational.

The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran’s cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran’s nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.

The UN nuclear watchdog has also carried out at least 14 surprise inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites so far, but found nothing to support West’s allegations.

The Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog continues snap inspections of Iranian nuclear sites and has reported that all “declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and therefore such material is not diverted to prohibited activities.”

Following the said reports by the US and international bodies, many world states have called the UN Security Council pressure against Tehran unjustified, demanding Iran’s case be normalized and returned from the UNSC to the IAEA.

Meantime, a recent study by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a prestigious American think tank, found that a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities “is unlikely” to delay the country’s program.

The ISIS study also cautioned that an attack against Iran would backfire by compelling the country to acquire nuclear weaponry.

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