Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Iran Is Playin' With The Big Boys

Iran says if we even dare to refer them to the Security Council, they will retaliate with "all means" at their disposal:

Iran's foreign minister yesterday threatened immediate retaliation over a move to refer its nuclear weapons activities to the United Nations security council in comments which deepen his country's confrontation with the international community.

In an interview with the Guardian - his first with western media - Manouchehr Mottaki accused the US of manufacturing the crisis and insisted there was still time to avoid a collision. But he warned that any military action by the US or Israel against Iran would have "severe consequences" and would be countered "by all means" at Iran's disposal.

Mr Mottaki, who was appointed by Iran's hardline president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in September, said Iranian retaliation would come "simultaneously" with any decision on referral by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, which meets in emergency session in Vienna today.

Israel, along with the US, has not ruled out air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities if diplomacy fails. "Iran does not think that the Zionist regime is in a condition to engage in such a dangerous venture and they know how severe the possible Iranian response will be to its possible audacity," Mr Mottaki said. "Suffice to say that the Zionist regime, if they attack, will regret it." That message was underscored yesterday by Iran's defence minister who said that any attack on Iran would bring "a crushing response".

Mr Mottaki said the US, even with 200,000 troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, was unable to impose its will on the region. "It would be better for President Bush to spend the second half of his presidency governing his country in a calmer manner." He urged Britain and other European countries to postpone a decision on UN referral until a scheduled meeting of the IAEA on March 6. "There's still time for our European friends to take a wise decision not to take wrong steps."

Them's some big words for a bunch of guys without nukes.