Islamic Republic escalates rhetoric ahead of IAEA report: A top commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guard force threatened to kill "dozens" of American military commanders, should the US kill any one of theirs.
"You also should not forget that American commanders have plenty of presence and travel in the region. If you kill any of us, we will kill dozens of you," Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the Guards' aerospace division, was quoted by Fars agency on Tuesday as saying.
Earlier last week several American neoconservatives, including retired US Army general Jack Keane, urged the Obama administration to use covert action against Iran and target members of the Quds Force, the Guard's special foreign actions unit.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
said Tuesday that his country did not need a nuclear bomb to confront the US.
"If America wants to confront the Iranian nation, it will certainly regret the Iranian nation's response," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the IRNA news agency. "They are saying that Iran
is seeking the atomic bomb. But they should know ... we do not need a bomb ... Rather we will act thoughtfully and with logic. History has shown that anyone acting against the Iranian nation regrets it."
Nuclear plant in Bushehr (Photo: AFP)
Ahmadinejad also criticized the head of the UN’s nuclear agency as an American pawn, in the run-up to its expected release of evidence which purports to document Tehran’s nuclear weapons program.
In remarks broadcast on state television on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad said that International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano “has no power by himself and violates his organization’s internal regulations.
“He delivers the papers that American officials hand to him,” the Iranian president said.
'We do not need bomb.' Ahmadinejad (Photo: AFP)
which is expected to be issued Wednesday, will suggest that Iran made models of a nuclear warhead. Iran denies that it has a weapons program and has called the report fabricated.
Speaking in Tehran, Ahmadinejad called the US' allegations a "big lie," adding that Iran's total nuclear research budget was merely USD 250 million. "The president of the United States allocated an additional 81 billion dollars to the annual budget towards upgrading (the US') nuclear arsenal," he claimed.
Meanwhile, Iran's foreign minister said his country would have no problem telling the world about its plans to develop nuclear weapons if it had such plans.
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi spoke during a visit to neighboring Armenia on Tuesday. He said if Iran wanted to develop nuclear weapons it would declare so openly, "but our reason and experience tell us that, for us, nuclear weapons would not serve as a deterrent."
He described the IAEA report as aimed at increasing pressure on Iran.
On Monday Hossein Ebrahimi, vice chairman of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, warned that allies of the Islamic Revolution would annihilate Israel
before it is able to attack Iran.
"This is just a baseless allegation because the Zionist regime is engaged in a war over its survival in Tel Aviv today," he said.
"We're not alone and it is (in fact) our cries resonating in Lebanon,
Tunisia, Palestine, etc," he said. "Now all these forces are allies of Iran and if the Zionist regime embarks on a foolish action against us, it will burn in the fire of the rage of Iran and its allies worldwide."
Lebanese terror group Hezbollah
is armed with tens of thousands of Iranian-made rockets. The Gaza-based terror group Islamic Jihad has also received massive aid from Iran, and some of its members have been trained by the Revolutionary Guards.
News agencies contributed to the report