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Iran Dismisses Rices Self Defence Warning

File photo: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Apr 24, 2006
Iran on Friday dismissed a US warning it could strike Iranian nuclear installations in the name of self-defence, with the foreign ministry arguing the threat was a sign of frustration in Washington. "America is angry because no other country has taken its side," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

"The US is trying to weaken international institutions by using lies and tricky unilateralist policies. The US is trying to make up for its inability to get other countries on side," he added.

He was responding to comments made Wednesday by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Rice had said she was confident a diplomatic solution will be found to the Iranian nuclear crisis, but warned that military options remain on the table and that Washington will not necessarily wait for an international consensus.

"The right to self-defense does not necessarily require a UN Security Council resolution," Rice said.

Asefi repeated that Iran is only seeking to generate electricity and not acquire the bomb.

"By exaggeration and distortion, the Americans are trying to heat up the atmosphere and create concerns about the Islamic republic's peaceful and normal nuclear programme," Asefi complained.

Iran's defence minister also reiterated the threat of harsh retaliation to any attack.

"If any power wants to carry out their threat, we will give a quick, firm and bitter response," Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar was quoted as saying.

He also said that "this year, Iran will use intelligent defence equipment", but did not elaborate on what this entailed.

The United Nations Security Council has given Iran until April 28 to freeze uranium enrichment work, a process to make reactor fuel and, if extended, the core of a nuclear weapon. Iran has refused to comply with the demand.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links

US Urges Ban On Military Sales To Iran
Washington (AFP) Apr 24, 2006
The United States, acknowledging the tough task it faces to slap UN sanctions on Iran, urged Friday an embargo on military sales to Tehran for its suspected bid to develop nuclear weapons.

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