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. Iran vows 'painful' response to any Israeli attack
TEHRAN, June 9 (AFP) Jun 09, 2008
Iran on Monday vowed a "very painful" response to any Israeli action after a senior minister of the Jewish state warned of attacks if Tehran did not halt its atomic drive, the ISNA news agency reported.

"If anyone is to commit such a stupid act, (the) response will be very painful," Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said in reaction to attack threats by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz.

"However, as soon as the comments are made, they deny it. It is evident that the words they fabricate stem from shortcomings in domestic issues," Najjar added.

Israeli officials on Sunday slammed Mofaz's threat to attack Iran unless it halts the controversial atomic work, accusing him of exploiting the issue for political gain.

Tehran had protested the previous day to Mofaz's remarks, in a letter to the UN Security Council and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Iran does not recognise Israel and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has drawn international condemnation by repeatedly predicting the Jewish state is doomed to disappear.

Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, a charge vehemently denied by Tehran which says its atomic programme is peaceful.

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