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Iran vows to ‘retaliate’ any foreign attack

Iran yesterday vowed to “retaliate” against any attack after Israel’s prime minister called for a “red line”

Source : Agencies | 29 Sep 2012

Iran yesterday vowed to “retaliate” against any attack after Israel’s prime minister called for a “red line” to prevent the Islamic republic from acquiring a nuclear bomb.

Denying any nuclear military program, Iran’s deputy UN ambassador said his country “is strong enough to defend itself and reserves its full right to retaliate with full force against any attack.”

The envoy, Eshagh Al-Habib, called Israel a “regime which is based on terrorism and is the father founder of state terrorism in the world,” in comments distributed before they were read out at the UN General Assembly.

Al-Habib accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of making “baseless allegations” against Iran during a firebrand speech to the assembly earlier in the day.

Netanyahu called for “a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program” in his speech to the 193-member assembly.

“The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target,” he said in a speech that accused Iran of backing terrorism around the world.

Habib said that Netanyahu had “shamelessly and hypocritically” made the accusations against Iran, adding that Israel is a nondeclared nuclear power.

The Iranian envoy also accused Israel of organizing operations in Iran, which led to the murder of several nuclear scientists.

“The international community should live up to its responsibility and exert pressure on this regime to end all this irresponsible behavior in a volatile region such as the Middle East,” Habib said.

Meanwhile, world powers decided to lay the groundwork for another round of negotiations with Iran over its disputed nuclear program, a senior US official said, but they want a significantly improved offer from the Islamic republic.

Neither the US nor any of its international partners was ready to abandon diplomacy in favor of military or other actions.

The new hope for a negotiated end to Iran’s decade-long nuclear standoff came Thursday after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with the foreign ministers of Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — powers that have sought, over several rounds of talks, to persuade Iran to halt its production of material that could be used in nuclear weapons. All such efforts have failed so far.


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