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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Iran threatens a pre-emptive strike on US forces

Augsust 19,2004
In a marked escalation of a war of words between Iran and its arch-enemies Israel and the US, Tehran has for the first time threatened a preemptive strike against US troops in the region. "We will not sit (with arms folded) to wait for what others will do to us," Iran's defence minister, Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani told Al-Jazeera TV on Wednesday when asked if Iran would respond to a US attack on its nuclear facilities.

"Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly, America is not the only one present in the region. We are also present, from Khost to Kandahar in Afghanistan; we are present in the Gulf and we can be present in Iraq," said Shamkhani. ...

Asked about the possibility of an American or Israeli strike against Iran's atomic power plant being built in Bushehr, Shamkhani added: "We will consider any strike against our nuclear installations as an attack on Iran as a whole, and we will retaliate with all our strength.

"Where Israel is concerned, we have no doubt that it is an evil entity, and it will not be able to launch any military operation without an American green light. You cannot separate the two. The US military presence (in Iraq) will not become an element of strength (for Washington) at our expense. The opposite is true, because their forces would turn into a hostage" in Iranian hands in the event of an attack, he said. ... FR Reprint.

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