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. Top Iranian commander warns US against military attack
TEHRAN, April 14 (AFP) Apr 14, 2006
The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned the United States on Friday not to attack the Islamic republic, saying American troops in Iraq and the region were "vulnerable".

"You can start a war but it won't be you who finishes it," General Yahya Rahim Safavi, one of the regime's most powerful figures, said of the United States.

"The Iranian armed forces are totally ready to defend the country. If the Americans attack Iran, they will be making a second strategic error after their attack against Iraq," warned the general, who was speaking on the sidelines of a pro-Palestinian conference in Tehran.

"The Americans know better than anyone that their troops in the region and in Iraq are vulnerable. I would advise them not to commit such a strategic error," he said.

The United States accuses Iran of using an atomic energy drive as a mask for weapons development. Last weekend news reports in the United States said US President George W. Bush's administration was refining plans for preventive strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities.

"We have American forces in the region under total surveillance," Safavi said. "For the past two years, we have been ready for any scenario, whether sanctions or an attack."

"I would advise them to first get out of their quagmire in Iraq before getting into an even bigger one. Iran is not Iraq or Afghanistan. Our forces are powerful."

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