Thu, Jan 20, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Iran promises to confront `unwise' moves by the US


Iran warned yesterday that it would decisively confront "any unwise move" by the US, the news agency IRNA reported.

"We will rely on our popular support, diplomatic capacities and military strength, and decisively confront any unwise US move in Iran," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi told IRNA.

The spokesman was referring to perceived military threats by US President George W. Bush in a television interview on Monday.

"We however consider these moves as a psychological war and political pressure by radical US circles and the neo-conservative wing," Assefi added.

On US secretary of state-designate Condoleezza Rice's classification of Iran as among "outposts of tyranny," the spokesman said that such remarks reflected the political class and status of the US in the world.

"We recommend to the new US foreign minister to revise the wrong American policies, or at least avoid a repetition of previous mistakes such as in Iraq," Assefi said.

The spokesman accused both Bush and Rice of trying to disrupt constructive talks between Iran and the EU.

Iran's state-television network IRIB earlier yesterday praised the stance by the EU against perceived military threats by Bush.

IRIB, which reflects the official stance of the establishment, said that despite "threats" by Washington, the EU had stuck to its decision to continue the diplomatic course with Iran.

The European Commission said Tuesday the EU preferred using diplomacy to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons, in response to comments by Bush that he did not rule out a military strike against Iran.

Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani said Tuesday that Tehran had no fear of threats by foreign enemies, but warned the US against attacking Iran.

A spokesman for the National Security Council also dismissed a report in The New Yorker magazine which claimed that the US was already running operations in Iran ahead of an attack.

The spokesman accused the article's author, renowned reporter Seymour Hersh, of "working for the CIA and Pentagon, as such kinds of reports can only be provided by American officials."

Iran's defense ministry on Monday announced that the US would not dare attack Iran, and that the Iranian defense industry had already achieved a level which could stop any enemy.

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