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. Irans warns Israel against attacking nuclear sites
DAMASCUS (AFP) Oct 02, 2005
Iran's parliament speaker on Sunday warned Israel against any attempt to attack its nuclear facilities, and promised to "teach it a lesson" if it did.

"If Israel does something stupid and attacks our nuclear facilities like it did in Iraq, we promise to teach it a lesson it will never forget," Gholam Ali Hadad-Adel said after talks with his Syrian counterpart in Damascus.

He was referring to a 1981 strike by Israel against the Osiraq nuclear reactor in Iraq, which the Jewish state suspected of developing atomic weapons.

"We will not give in," Hadad Adel said, citing the "right" of all countries to use nuclear energy for civilian energy purposes under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

In an escalating crisis over Iran's nuclear ambitions, Tehran has rejected proposals that it abandon fuel cycle technology in return for incentives and has resumed uranium conversion work in defiance of a suspension agreement with Britain, France and Germany.

Iran insists its activities are peaceful but faces accusations it is developing nuclear energy as a cover for a weapons programme.

The International Atomic Energy Agency last month adopted a resolution that found Iran in "non-compliance" with nuclear proliferation safeguards -- an automatic trigger for taking the matter to the Security Council.

Iran threatened Tuesday to retaliate by blocking tough inspections of its nuclear sites and resuming uranium enrichment activities.

Israel, which has long warned against Iran's nuclear ambitions, has not signed the NPT and is believed to be the only nuclear power in the Middle East, though it neither confirms nor denies reports that it has about 200 nuclear warheads.

Since Saddam Hussein's regime was ousted from Iraq in April 2003, Israel has viewed Iran as it prime enemy in the region.

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