Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been strangely silent vis-à-vis the growing speculations of a possible strike on the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities. While other Iranian officials have threatened a "brutal response" and a "crushing blow" in retaliation of any such strike, Ahmadinejad himself may not be as complacent.
The Iranian president has reportedly confided in close associates, that his is concerned that Iran may be on a collision course with NATO, and that should thing boil over, a conflict could "cause Iran to suffer for 500 years."
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The international community is waiting for the new IAEA report on the Islamic Republic's nuclear efforts, but despite the knowledge that it stands to be its harshest one yet and that it will include "overwhelming evidence" as to the military nature of Iran's nuclear work, experts say it is still devoid a "smoking gun."
The Natanz uranium enrichment facility (Photo: Reuters)
Diplomatic sources told the Daily Telegraph that a fifth round of international sanctions was "not a slum dunk," mostly because Russia and China are likely to oppose them.
"The current sanctions already cover Iran's nuclear program and military industries," a UN source told the Daily Telegraph. "Pursuing more sanctions would mean going after oil and gas resources, which Russia and China won't abide."
Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad – who is waging a political war oh his domestic rivals – warned that "the West is rallying to destroy us… It is as clear as the light of day that NATO yearns to attack Iran.
"We are close to the moment of the final confrontation. But it might not be a military one – it may be political."
Iran must be prepared for the conflict, he said, or it may suffer a serious blow.
Ahmadinejad seems to be bracing for a diplomatic battle with the West and bracing for what is sure to be unprecedented pressure on Iran following the IAEA's report.
Still, the Iranian president expressed confidence that Tehran's armed forces would be "more than a match" for the Americana forces stationed in the Persian Gulf, as well as for Israel.
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