Ahmadinejad. Met American officer
Photo: AP

Ahmadinejad: Iran to 'cut hands' off any attacker

Iranian president says that 'in event of necessity, additional parts of our defense capability will be put on display for world to see,' but adds he supports talks with US

"Before the enemies even get their hands on the trigger, the armed forces will cut them off," the official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying in an interview with reporters Sunday.


Ahmadinejad said the weaponry displayed in the Revolutionary Guards' missile exercise, which was condemned by Western powers, was only a small part of Iran's defense capability.


"In the event of necessity, additional parts of our defense capability will be put on display for the world to see," the president said.


Ahmadinejad countered these comments by saying that he was willing to promote talks between his country and the US. He stressed that he would commend the establishment of a US interest office in Tehran. "I comment any opportunity to strengthen ties," he said.


Over the weekend Iranian newspapers quoted a presidential speech given before a crowd of Revolutionary Guard volunteers. In it, Ahmadinejad claimed that during his visit to Iraq he had agreed to meet with an American officer as a show of respect.


"While I was in Iraq I was told that a commander from the forces of occupation wanted to meet with me," he recounted. "It turned out he was supposed to go on leave but postponed it in order to see me so I accepted.


"When he saw me he said he was proud of me and added, 'you have a place in our hearts'. Then he asked for a photograph with me as a memento. I patted him on the shoulder, encouraged him, and told him to defend the Iraqi people."


Ahmadinejad did not say which state the officer was from, but he insinuated that the man came from the US. The conservative newspaper Jomhouri Islami was skeptical about the tale, and wrote that "if the American commanders respected Iran, then why would they attempt to kidnap the Iranian president."


פרסום ראשון: 07.13.08, 16:18
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