Skip to comments.Iran threatens Israel if US acts "evil"
Posted on 05/02/2006 9:43:19 AM PDT by Alouette
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran threatened on Tuesday to attack Israel in response to any "evil" act by the United States and said it had enriched uranium to a level close to the maximum compatible with civilian use in power stations.
The defiant statements were issued shortly before world powers meet in Paris to discuss the next steps after Tehran rejected a U.N. call to halt uranium enrichment.
Senior officials from the U.N. Security Council's permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany were to discuss how to curb an Iranian program that Western nations say conceals a drive for atomic warheads.
Iran denies the charge and refuses to back down from what it calls its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.
Driving home that message, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, said his country had now succeeded in purifying uranium to 4.8 percent, at the top end of the 3 to 5 percent range for fuel used in nuclear power plants.
"Enrichment above 5 percent is not on Iran's agenda," Aghazadeh told the students' ISNA news agency.
Iran has previously said it had enriched to more than 4 percent, far below the 80 percent level needed for bomb-making.
It has used a test cascade of 164 centrifuges to enrich uranium so far and is building two similar cascades. It says it will start installing 3,000 centrifuges later this year -- enough to yield material for one bomb within a year.
The United States and Israel have vowed to deny Iran nuclear weapons. Washington has not excluded war if diplomacy fails, while Tehran has sworn to retaliate if attacked.
"We have announced that wherever America does something evil, the first place that we target will be Israel," ISNA quoted a senior Revolutionary Guards commander, Rear Admiral Mohammad-Ebrahim Dehqani, as saying on Tuesday.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map."
Iran's deputy oil minister said there was "some possibility" of a U.S. attack on his country over its nuclear program.
"I am worried. Everybody is worried," Mohammad Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian said in New Delhi after talks on a proposed $7-billion pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan.
Concerns that Iran's dispute with the West could lead to disruption of its oil output pushed oil prices above $74 a barrel, close to the record of $75.35 touched last month.
The United States, Britain and France are expected to introduce a resolution to the Security Council this week that would legally oblige Iran to comply with U.N. demands. The three countries favor limited sanctions if Tehran remains defiant.
Iran said Russia and China, also veto-wielding permanent council members, would not back any punitive measures.
"The thing these two countries have officially told us and expressed in diplomatic negotiations is their opposition to sanctions and military attacks," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told Iran's Kayhan newspaper.
China and Russia both have big energy interests in Iran, the world's fourth biggest oil exporter. Russia is also helping Iran build its first atomic power plant in the Gulf port of Bushehr.
Nicholas Burns, the U.S. under-secretary of state for political affairs, said in Paris that Tuesday's meeting would seek to keep the Security Council members and Germany united before a meeting of foreign ministers in New York on May 9.
Asked about Mottaki's comments, he said: "All I know is that China and Russia say that they don't want a nuclear-armed Iran. And China and Russia have voted with us against the government of Iran. So we intend to preserve this unity."
Burns said he expected a consensus to emerge over the next 30-40 days on the need to send a "stiff message" to Iran, adding that a range of sanctions had been discussed privately.
These included restricting exports to Iran of dual-use technology that could support its research and development or help it fabricate fissile material or a nuclear device.
Other options were travel curbs on Iranian officials and a ban on arms sales to Iran, such as a planned Russian missile deal. Oil and gas sanctions were not being discussed now.
"We hope that the U.N. Security Council, through a resolution, will send a firm and united message to Iran," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said in Paris.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), says it cannot confirm that Iran's goals are peaceful, but has found no proof of a military program.
A U.N. resolution would be adopted under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, making it binding in international law. A separate resolution would be required for sanctions or military action.
(Additional reporting by Alireza Ronaghi and Parinoosh Arami in Tehran, Mark Heinrich in Vienna, Jon Boyle in Paris and Himanghsu Watts in New Delhi)
Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.
Iran will blow up Israel if SOMEONE doesn't act.
Well, we got up this morning and we're breathing, and we're happy. That in and of itself is evil enough for those nutjobs usually, isn't it?!
This nutjob has not read his bible prophecies lately, has he?........
He really does sound like he wants a war and wants us to strike first.
>.Iran will blow up Israel if SOMEONE doesn't act.<<
Iran doesn't need us to attack them in order to justify in the extremist's minds an attack on Israel..they already believe that Israel should not exist. The level of air bombardment and/or invasion needed to take out Iran's capability will make it harder to attack Israel, not easier.
I don't understand his game.
Yep, and if we do strike first we should do so in a fashion that ensures that there will no longer be an Iran to strike back.
In further "Breaking News", the U.S. announced that it had placed Iran on "Double Secret Probation"!!!
"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map."
This reminds me of the 10 commandments movie when Pharoah
brought down the wrath on his own son by declaring all 1st born Israel would die.
Sounds like Daniel chapter seven's "Little Horn" is "speaking Great things"............
>>Yep, and if we do strike first we should do so in a fashion that ensures that there will no longer be an Iran to strike back.<<
I have not seen an estimate below 1000 sorties and to do that you've got to take out all their air defenses, command and control and retaliation capacity. All that is gonna make them less able to strike at Israel or anybody else.
and frankly to be really sure we'll need boots on the ground. So this guy is acting in a way that doesn't make sense.
He's a psychotic. There's nothing to understand.
Yeah. I showed up to post that. This is sounding more and more like he wants to be hit.
Hm. Maybe their nuclear program isn't as far along as we think. Or maybe they have something ghastly already in place and they're looking for a justification to let it loose. Or maybe he is just a psycho.
I'd give a lot to know.
'I don't understand his game."
I do. He's dying of cancer. He's a member of a sub-cult of Islamist who want an apocalypse. He wants to bring about said apocalypse.
Pretty much Jim Jones with nukes.
>>He's a psychotic. There's nothing to understand.<<
This is a 3,000 year old country with a long history of science and learning. And the President isn't really in charge - and he is actually more moderate than many his competitors.
If the realy rulers are allowing him to invite a war then there is a reason. They expect to profit in some fashion. I just don't know what it could be.
The "profit" they have in mind is after everyone is dead.
>.Hm. Maybe their nuclear program isn't as far along as we think. Or maybe they have something ghastly already in place and they're looking for a justification to let it loose. Or maybe he is just a psycho.<<
I' ve wondered if maybe they have not aquired a bomb or two from the ex-soviets or Pakistan and maybe their internal program isn't going so well.... But they ought to be able to see what happened to Saddam.
And they know President Bush can't be reelected the next President could be a Democrat - why push for us to attack them faster?
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