Iran ready to confront US, warns Ahmadinejad

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday said Tehran "does not need an atomic bomb" to take on the US.

Dubai: As confrontation appeared looming in
the Persian Gulf over Iran`s nuclear intentions, the country`s
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday said Tehran "does not need
an atomic bomb" to take on the US.
"If America confronts the Iranian nation, it will
certainly be made to regret the move by Iran`s firm response,"
Ahmadinejad said, warning that Tehran will not accept any
accusations against its nuclear programme, Iran`s Press TV
reported.

"History has shown that anyone acting against the Iranian
nation regrets it," the Iranian president said, as tensions
mounted in the region over a report by UN nuclear
investigators that Iran was close to developing atomic bombs.

The report is to be circulated among members of the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and is expected to
focus on Iran`s alleged efforts towards putting radioactive
material in a warhead and developing missiles.

Ahmadinejad, who is also head of the Iran`s National
Supreme Security Council, said while Washington arrogantly
accuses Tehran of producing nuclear bomb, it itself possesses
over 5,000 nuclear warheads.

His revolutionary guard commanders were more direct in
delivering threats that they would kill "dozens" of US
military commanders, should the Americans target their force.
"They should not forget that US military commanders have a
fair presence in the region. If you kill any of us, we will
kill dozens of you," General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the
guards air wing, was quoted by Press TV as saying.

The Iranian President denounced Washington`s lack of
commitment to nuclear disarmament, claiming that the US was
spending an additional USD 81 billion to upgrade its nuclear
arsenal, while the total budget of Iran`s nuclear research was
merely USD 250 million.

Ahmadinejad also blasted IAEA chief Yukia Amano for
failing to act independently, saying, "Unfortunately, they
have designated a person at the head of this agency that has
no authority of his own, but violates the regulations of the
organization and merely restates US words."

The country`s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted
as saying, "There is no serious proof that Iran is going to
create nuclear warhead. The US and the West are exerting
pressure on Iran without serious arguments and proof."

As rhetoric from Tehran became shriller, the Israeli
Defence Minister Ehud Barak did not rule out a military strike
against Iran`s nuclear facilities.

The Israeli minister was quoted as saying by Haretz daily
that Tel Aviv would press that no option be taken off the
table.

PTI

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