'Not a new threat'
Photo: AP

Iranian diplomat warns of harsh response to any strike

Tehran's press attaché in Damascus grants interview to Israeli-Arab newspaper, says 'if Israel were to do something stupid – it will face a shocking response the likes of which it has never encountered before'

In what is believed to be the first interview granted by an Iranian official with an Israeli publication, the press attaché for the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Majid Bashtestani, warned Israel against striking his country's nuclear facilities.


"If Israel were to do something stupid – it will face a shocking response the likes of which it has never encountered before,' Bashtestani told the Nazareth-based 'al-Sinara' newspaper.


When asked to comment on recent speculation of a possible Israeli or American attack in Iran, the attaché said: "This threat is not new; it has recurred over the years, ever since the Islamic revolution took place in Iran and to this day."


As for whether Iran would close the Hormuz strait if attacked, and by doing so risk harming its neighboring Arab nations, he said Iran "has no conflict with its Arab neighbors, the opposite is true. We have good ties with them, and they understand our right to respond to any act of aggression against us in order to protect ourselves."


Bashtestani gave the recent visit paid by Syrian President Bashar Assad to Tehran as an example of this. "President Assad's visit to Iran is a positive one, it serves the bilateral interests of both nations as well as the interests of regional stability and security," he said, reiterating Assad's instance that he was not in

Tehran to communicate any message from Western nations.


The paper asked the attaché to expand on Iran's attitude towards the recently renewed peace negotiations between Syria and Israel. "Syria has every right to regain its plundered land, the occupied Golan Heights, and therefore it has the right to negotiate and try to regain what belongs it," he said.


The Iranian representative repeatedly emphasized his country's nuclear rights: "Iran will never fully give up on its rights, which are set in international law, granting it the right to possess nuclear power for peaceful purposes."


פרסום ראשון: 08.08.08, 00:17
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