Tehran: Iran`s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei on Tuesday warned his country would hit back at any
attack by the United States or Israel, firming tensions in the
showdown over Tehran`s nuclear programme.
"We have said that we do not have atomic weapons and we
will not build any. But if there is any attack by the enemies,
whether it be United States or the Zionist regime, we will
attack them at the same level as they attack us," he said in
live televised speech to mark the start of the Iranian new
The comments reinforced Iran`s position as it faces off
against the West over its nuclear activities, and as it
confronts Israeli and US threats of possible military action.
Khamenei, who was speaking in the western city of
Mashhad, said Iran had a divine right to retaliate if struck.
"This is God`s law. We are not thinking of attacks and
aggression, but we are attached to the existence and identity
of the Islamic republic."