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. Larijani says Israel cannot attack Iran with US support: report
ISLAMABAD, Nov 25 (AFP) Nov 25, 2006
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said Israel was not in a position to attack Iran with the support of the United States, in an interview published Saturday.

Larijani told journalists in Tehran the United States had weak points in the Middle East and would not dare embark on another military engagement there, according to the the Pakistani website www.paktribune.com.

"We are aware that, having learnt its lesson from recent Lebanon adventure despite possessing over 200 nuclear warheads, Israel is not in a position to attack us," the site quoted him as saying. "What they are saying is sheer slogan-chanting."

"The recent Lebanese war has exposed the myth of Zionist military might and the result of the conflict there has left Israeli Prime Minister Olmert as a dead body," Larijani added.

He vowed that Iran would continue to pursue its peaceful nuclear programme and would never compromise on principles.

"We could neither be harassed nor forced to abandon our national interests. My country is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and our programme is under full safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," he said.

"How could IAEA and the West blame Iran for any illegal activity while the Agency's cameras are covering every activity and its inspectors have been inspecting each of Iran`s nuclear installations?" Larijani asked.

He said that while Iranian leadership was against developing nuclear weapons, it believed that no one could stop other states to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

"Actually America and the West are not willing to allow any Islamic country to be self-sufficient in the fields of economy and nuclear technology," Larijani said.

He also accused the US of "misusing" a confession by Pakistan's pioneering nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan that he had transferred nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

"I think the US intended to pressure Pakistan and misuse this issue. Our nuclear technology is indigenous and such assistance have been at the academic level," he said.

Larijani said Iran would retaliate against any sanctions imposed on it.

"If they impose sanctions they will face our reaction," he said.

Diplomats said Iran, under the threat of UN sanctions over its nuclear program, was trying to parry charges that it has failed to cooperate fully with the IAEA inquest.

Iran says its program is a peaceful effort to generate electricity.

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