Tehran: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned
on Tuesday that Iran's military would "cut off" the hands of those
wishing to attack the Islamic republic and repeated his demand
that US-led troops leave the region.
Ahmadinejad's aggressive speech at an annual army parade
was, however, marred by Iranian state media reports that a
military aircraft taking part in the extravaganza had crashed.
Iranian news agency Fars said that seven people had died
in a plane crash near the site of the parade but contrary to
the state media reports quoted an air force statement as
saying the plane was a training aircraft and was not
part of the event.
"No power will ever dare to think of launching aggression
against Iran. Today, Iran is experienced and powerful,"
Ahmadinejad said in an address to the nation on the
anniversary of the eruption of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980.
"Our armed forces are ready to confront the forces of
darkness. If anybody wants to shoot a bullet at us from
anywhere, we will cut off his hands," the hardliner said.
"The world must know that the Iranian people will
strongly defend their rights and their land," added
Ahmadinejad, who according to state television left Iran soon
after his address, bound for New York where he is to attend
the UN General Assembly meeting.
Iran's arch-foe Israel has refused to rule out a military
option should Tehran fail to curb its controversial nuclear
programme, which West fears is a cover for making atomic
First Published: Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 22:10