Israel won’t launch stupid attack: Iran
TEHRAN / ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (C) is seen at a Mecca meeting on Syria. An Iranian official says an Israeli attack will provoke very severe consequences. EPA photoIsraeli threats of an imminent attack against Iran would be a “stupid” act and would provoke “very severe consequences,” Iran has said as the U.S. insisted that there is still time for diplomacy to solve the crisis.
“In our calculations, we aren’t taking these claims very seriously because we see them as hollow and baseless,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters yesterday, according to Agence France-Presse. “Even if some officials in the illegitimate regime [Israel] want to carry out such a stupid action, there are those inside [the Israeli government] who won’t allow it because they know they would suffer very severe consequences from such an act,” he said.
The comments were a response to bellicose rhetoric from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in recent days suggesting they were thinking more seriously of military action against Iranian nuclear facilities. Iran’s defense minister also dismissed Israeli threats against his country as psychological warfare.
The semiofficial Mehr news agency quoted Gen. Ahmad Vahidi as saying Israeli leaders are resorting to “psychological war” against Iran.
US insists diplomacy has time and space
In Washington, the White House insisted that there remains a “window” for its strategy of pressure through punishing sanctions, adding that world power talks with Tehran could work despite the absence of breakthrough so far. “We continue to believe there is time and space for diplomacy, the opportunity remains for Iran to take advantage of this process,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One.