Iranian military officials take on US verbally

Iran upped the verbal ante against the US ahead of the NAM Summit, with senior military officers attacking Washington, calling it a "Great Satan".

Tehran: Iran today upped the verbal ante against the US ahead of the NAM Summit, with senior military officers attacking Washington, calling it a "Great Satan" who had unleashed "economic terrorism" on the country.

Commander of the powerful Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, stressed that the world states` strong and wide presence at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit meeting here proved that the US and the West were losing clout.

"Despite all pressures imposed (by the US and West) to prevent a mighty and prestigious NAM meeting, the summit has been held in an orderly and coordinated manner and the countries` heads of state are participating in the summit eagerly," Jafari was quoted as saying by Iran`s FARS news agency.

A senior military official said here that Iran would take back its assets, illegally blocked by the "Great Satan" United States, even if it takes 50 years and it has to use force to reclaim them.

Referring to the fresh blocking of the Iranian nation`s assets as "an act of economic terrorism" and stealing financial sources of a nation, Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces Headquarters for Basij (Volunteer), defensive and cultural affairs, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, said Washington has specialised in various forms of terrorism.

"If they (American officials) think they could keep assets of the Iranians forever, they should know that we will take our assets back from the Great Satan," Jazayeri was quoted as saying by Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Jazzayeri had made a pitch yesterday for taking a strong stance against "arrogance" of the West.
"Now that the NAM members have said a `big no` to the US and the hegemonic system to (come to Tehran and) hold the 16th summit at the highest level, the conditions are prepared more than ever for taking a strong stance against the world arrogance and punish the White House and its European supporters," Jazzayeri said.

The statements assume significance since Iran sees the hosting of the Summit of the 120-nation bloc as a major diplomatic win. A number of leaders from various countries including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are attending the summit despite US frowns.

US and Western powers have accused Iran of following a clandestine nuclear weapons programme, a charge vehemently denied by Tehran, which says that its nuclear programme is for peaceful use.

The US and its allies have imposed severe sanctions on Tehran hoping to force it to a negotiating table.

The situation has reached such a point that Israel has even threatened to undertake a strategic strike on Iranian nuclear assets.

Adding to the tensions between Iran and the western powers is Tehran`s open and strong support to Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria which is facing an armed opposition.

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