Sun, Aug 31, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Iran warns attack would mean WWIII


A senior military commander warned yesterday that any attack on Iran would start a new world war, as Tehran pressed on with its controversial nuclear drive despite the risk of further UN sanctions.

“Any aggression against Iran will start a world war,” deputy chief of staff for defense publicity Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri said in a statement carried by the state news agency IRNA.

Iran is under international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, a process that lies at the core of fears about Iran’s nuclear program as it can make nuclear fuel as well as the fissile core of an atomic bomb.

“The unrestrained greed of the US leadership and global Zionism ... is gradually leading the world to the edge of a precipice,” Jazayeri said, citing the unrest in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Georgia.

“It is evident that if such a challenge occurs, the fake and artificial regimes will be eliminated before anything,” he said, without naming any countries.

Iran said on Friday it had increased the number of operating centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant to 4,000.

The number was up from the 3,000 centrifuges that Iran announced in November that it was operating at its plant in the central city of Natanz. Still, it was well below the 6,000 it said last year it would operate by this summer, suggesting the program may be behind schedule.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, who visited Natanz last week, said Iran was preparing to install even more centrifuges, though he did not offer a timeframe.

The UN has already imposed three rounds of sanctions on Iran for its refusal to freeze its enrichment program, which can be used to produce either fuel for a nuclear reactor or the material needed for a nuclear warhead.

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