"Any attack on Iran would be a foolish move, and would result in painful consequences for the attacker. Iran's response for such a move would cause the attacker to repent," Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said in an interview with the Iranian Fars News Agency on Saturday.
"I believe the Zionist regime degraded itself when it proved powerless against Hizbullah – to such an extent that it would never be able to bear the first response of Iran, because our retaliation has no time or geographical limits," he added.
Regarding the possibility of an American attack Najjar said that as the US election date neared, US President George W. Bush was losing his chance to begin a conflict with Iran. "Bush may be able to start a war, but he won't be the one to finish it," the defense minister said.
"Iran is ready to respond, however it does not wish such a situation upon itself and acts towards achieving its aims with logic and power."
Regarding his country's nuclear and space plans, Najjar said they should not be perceived as a threat. "Though the missile industry is considered part of the army's defense program and a strategic weapon of deterrence, it also has important practical purposes relating to scientific research and communications."
Najjar spoke of his country's relationship with Syria, and explained his views on the Iran-Syria-Hizbullah axis, saying it was meant to deter and restrain Israel. "The defensive cooperation between Iran, Syria, and Hizbullah has reached the level of imposing a certain threat on the Zionist regime, and deactivating its tools of oppression, slaughter, and occupation," he said.
When asked whether Iran was cooperating with Syria in its nuclear plans, the Iranian defense minister answered, "It's about time the world learned how to handle the lies spread by Bush and the Zionists."
Najjar also spoke about Syrian Defense Minister Hassan Turkemani's recent visit to Iran, following the announcement about the renewal of the peace talks between Israel and Syria. He expressed his country's support of Syria and its right to reclaim the Golan Heights, saying "Iran sees this as a Syrian success story."
Regarding Israel's demands that Syria disassociate itself from Iran and quit its support of terrorism Najjar said, "Of course the Zionist negotiation techniques will raise certain scenarios and terms… But the answer of the leadership, government, and people of Syria is clear, and General Turkemani's visit to Tehran this week showed that the relationship between the two countries is so stable that these types of tricks can never affect it."
"Now that the Zionist regime is powerless against the Palestinian jihad organizations, especially Hizbullah, and Syria has the will and the power to reclaim the Golan, the Zionist regime is raising a new scenario to achieve its new aims," he added. "This scenario has failed, and Islamic Iran and the relationship between the two countries will constitute a guarantee for Syria's legitimate claims."