February 06, 2005

Iran’s top military chief vows `crushing answer` to any attack

Iran’s top military chief vows `crushing answer` to any attack
Netiran, Jan. 5th, 2005, Netiran politics desk
Word Count : 620

A top military chief said in Tehran Saturday that Iran`s armed forces were completely ready to repel any possible aggression amid international concerns about the specter of another adventurism by the Bush regime.
"Iran`s armed forces see themselves capable of repelling the aggression of any power and feel completely ready to crush the aggressors," the head of the Armed Forces` Command Headquarters, Hassan Firouzabadi, said.

"We don`t claim to have or produce the same weapons used by the superpowers which threat us, but our answer will neither be equal; rather, it will be a crushing answer," he added.

The two countries which have virtually held no diplomatic relations since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, have stepped up the war of words in recent weeks.

George W. Bush was quoted last month saying that he `will never take any option off the table` when asked whether his regime was willing to consider a military action against Tehran`s peaceful nuclear program.

In his State of the Union address Wednesday, Bush charged that Iran `remains the world`s primary state sponsor of terror -- pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve`.

His remarks have been echoed by his hawkish Vice President Dick Cheney who said Israel might strike Iran`s nuclear facilities `without being asked`.

The statements have come on the backdrop of a report written by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker magazine, saying US operatives were scouting inside Iran to identify targets for possible air strikes.

Iranian officials have brushed off the report, stressing that it is part of a `psychological warfare` being waged by US officials to make the Europeans abandon their diplomatic negotiations with Iran. "Such talks did not find any audience across the world, including among the Europeans; even George Bush`s own peers rejected them as amounting to the declaration of an all-out war against the entire world," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi has said. US Pentagon officials have said the New Yorker report was `riddled with errors`.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was quoted as saying in London Friday that a military attack was simply not on the agenda `at this point of the time`.

Tehran insists that its nuclear program is solely aimed at power generation and strongly rejects US claims that the program is a front for building atomic bombs.

By the way Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Hassan Rohani said in Kermanshah Friday Iran has never sought to produce nuclear weapons nor will it ever seek to do so in the future. Addressing a group of locals in this western city, Rohani said that Iran has proved to the world during the past one year that the issues raised by the United States regarding its nuclear program are sheer lies.

"The United States keeps on changing its policies and has even said Iran does not have the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purpose," he said, reiterating "Iran has the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."

"Today, the Iranian nation decides for itself. Those times when the US made decisions for Iranians has passed.

"All US designs and sanctions on Iran are intended to block the country from gaining access to (nuclear) technology...because they know very well that Iran has the know how to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. "We are only insisting on what is legally our right," Rowhani declared.

The SNSC secretary went on to cite the eight-year war launched against Iran with the support of the United States and the massacre and inhuman treatment of Iraqis in prisons as belying US claims it seeks freedom for nations.

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