Iran says would act against enemies if endangered

TEHRAN Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:01pm EST

Members of the revolutionary guard attend the anniversary ceremony of Iran's Islamic Revolution at the Khomeini shrine in the Behesht Zahra cemetery, south of Tehran, February 1, 2012. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

Members of the revolutionary guard attend the anniversary ceremony of Iran's Islamic Revolution at the Khomeini shrine in the Behesht Zahra cemetery, south of Tehran, February 1, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Raheb Homavandi

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TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic's armed forces was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying on Tuesday.

"Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran's national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions," Mohammad Hejazi told Fars news agency.

Iran is facing increasing international pressure and isolation over its disputed nuclear activity. Expanded Western sanctions aim to block its economically vital oil exports and Tehran has said it could retaliate by shutting the Strait of Hormuz shipping lane vital to global energy supplies.

Still, a top U.S. intelligence official said last week that while U.S. spy services believed Iran would respond if attacked, they thought it was unlikely to start a conflict.

Israel and the United States do not rule out military action against Iran if sanctions and diplomacy fail to rein in its nuclear energy campaign.

Senior U.N. inspectors have begun their second round of talks in Tehran in three weeks, seeking Iranian explanations with respect to intelligence about "possible military dimensions" to the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran denies Western accusations that it is covertly seeking the means to build nuclear weapons and in recent weeks has again vowed no nuclear retreat, but also voiced willingness to resume negotiations with world powers without preconditions.

Iran says it is enriching uranium solely as fuel for a future network of nuclear power stations, not for bombs.

The European Union enraged Tehran last month when it decided to slap a boycott on its oil to take full effect on July 1.

On Sunday, Iran's oil ministry announced a retaliatory halt in oil sales to French and British companies, though that step will be largely symbolic as those firms had already greatly reduced purchases of Iranian crude.

On Monday, the European Commission said Belgium, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands had already stopped buying Iranian oil, while Greece, Spain and Italy were cutting back purchases.

Tighter sanctions including the pending embargo on Iranian oil imports into the EU have helped push oil prices up to $119 a barrel from $107 at the start of the year.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Comments (42)
arttie wrote:
It’s hard to understand why the greatest and strongest powers on earth continue to put up with this little loudmouth. I think it prudent to put this little shithead in his place once and for all. He has stalled inspections continuously and is obviously going to continue to do so while he upgrades his equipment and keeps refining his nuclear quest. Israel would be well within their right to protect themselves by attacking and destroying the threat Iran imposes upon them. Israel has more guts than we do and they are right next door to Iran! I don’t see it as a question of whom has more missiles, but rather a question of stopping a bully who doesn’t seem to care enough for his own people to begin a path of international cooperation.

Feb 21, 2012 9:58am EST  --  Report as abuse
Logical123 wrote:
arttie: I assume you are talking about Netanyahu, the lunatic leader of the biggest terrorist country in the world. It is time these crazy paranoids shut their mouths and stop repeating like idiots, “All options are on the table.” If they continue this belligerence, Iran has every right to strike first instead of waiting for an attack by the rogue state of Israel. It is the responsibility of the US to control its spoil child. We are sick and tired of all this belligerence and warmongering.

Feb 21, 2012 10:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
MetalHead8 wrote:
@ Logical…. No he was talking about Iran. its pretty funny how anti-west people say Isarel is so bad compared to Iran. Isarel doesnt actually use terrorist, they don’t shoot at there own people, they dont oppress there people… LIKE IRAN. Cute try though.

@Arttie, Long story short? Deplomacy has failed in many aspect in the world. Look at Syria, Iran, Russia, China, Iraq, Afghanstan, the Recent Koren abuse at a US base. Talking has gotten nobody nowhere recently. Protesting in The States, Europe, Russia, China, and the middle east are on the rise, as well as armed conflict. We’ll be very lucky if an US-Iran war is avoid

Feb 21, 2012 10:32am EST  --  Report as abuse
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