Iran students form chain to defend nuclear site
TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse
Iranian students shout slogans as they form a human chain outside the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility. AFP photo
Hundreds of Iranian students yesterday formed a human chain around one of the Islamic republic's nuclear sites, vowing to strongly respond to any strike by arch-foe Israel, Fars news agency reported.
"We are promising the leaders of world arrogance [the West] that even if one bullet is fired towards Iran we will demolish Tel Aviv in three days," Fars quoted a student leader as saying in a speech at the Isfahan uranium conversion facility.
Chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel," the students carried a Wild West-styled wanted poster depicting US President Barack Obama's as a fugitive from law.
The demonstration comes about a week after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported "credible" evidence that Iran had worked towards nuclear weapons.
Iran criticised the Vienna-based atomic watchdog for giving up its "earlier objectivity" in the report, which it rejected as "baseless" and hewing to Israeli and US intelligence.
Tuesday's student gathering, which is not the first of its kind in the past decade of Iran's stand-off with the West over its controversial nuclear drive, comes amid speculation of an Israeli military strike.
The rumors were further stoked by a news report saying that Israel's foreign intelligence service Mossad was behind a deadly munitions blast in Iran last weekend.
In an interview published Sunday in Germany's Der Spiegel magazine, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said he sees no more room for compromise in the battle over Tehran's contested nuclear programme.
At the same time, Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani warned Tehran must review its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog due to the hostile nature of the report.
Subject to four sets of UN sanctions and several Western sanctions over its enrichment programme, Iran has so far refused to freeze its uranium enrichment activities.
Washington and its Western partners want the IAEA board to approve a "clear resolution" condemning Iran at a scheduled meeting on Thursday and Friday. This could even go as far as to referring Iran to the UN Security Council.