PARIS, 26 Apr. (IPS) The Iran-America war of verbal menaces and intimidation escalated to new heights on Wednesday after Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i warned that America would “receive twice for each blow to Iran”.
Iranian political analysts said this is the first time that Mr. Khameneh’i personally enters the arena, meaning that he is taking seriously the possibility of a military strike by the United States over Iran.
The Americans must realize that in case of aggression against Iran, their interests would suffer anywhere possible in the world.
“The Americans must realize that in case of aggression against Iran, their interests would suffer anywhere possible in the world”, Ayatollah Khameneh’i threatened, speaking in a meeting with a group of workers.
His bold and uncompromising warning came 48 before the meeting of the United Nations Security Council to study the latest report of the international nuclear watchdog’s general director on the state of Iranian nuclear activities.
Last month, the 15-members Security Council gave Iran one month to suspend all its atomic activities, including enriching uranium and come along with the demands formulated by the International Atomic Energy Agency aimed at proving that its nuclear projects are for peaceful aims.
But not only Tehran rejected the demands, but it announced that it has joined the nuclear club by enriching uranium up to 3.5 per cent.
“We are allergic to the word [suspension]. The westerners do not stop asking us to suspend (nuclear activities), but they never spell out why it is so necessary to suspend our works, something which is our absolute legal right”, Mr. Ali Larijani, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator pointed out on Tuesday, echoing the exasperation of the Iranian regime with both the IAEA and the international community.
He also warned that in case the UNSC decides sanctions against Iran, Tehran would “suspend” its cooperation with the Vienna-based IAEA and added that in case Iran is attacked, it would continue its nuclear programmes “underground”.
"The Iranian nation and Government are for peace and security. But, if the US ventured into any aggression on Iran, Iran will retaliate by damaging the US interests worldwide twice as much as the US may inflict on Iran", the official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted the leader as having told his audience.
“This is the first time that Khameneh’i personally makes such menaces, for, until now; he had let free any of the officials to empty its anger against the Americans. That he decided to join the unabated war of words and waves, insinuations and intimidations that rages between Tehran and Washington, it means that the Iranian leadership is taking the preparation of an air strike over Iranian nuclear and military installations by the Bush Administration seriously”, one Iranian diplomat told Iran Press Service on condition of not being identified.
Earlier in the week, Iranian fundamentalist President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad had threatened to leave the international nuclear watchdog in case it continues to “ignore Iran’s righteous rights to possess nuclear technology”.
"If the UN nuclear agency creates problems for Iran, we would be obliged to rethink our membership in the agency. If we reach the conclusion that three years of intrusive examination of Iranian sites by IAEA was useless, we may reconsider our membership with the agency", he pointed out.
“What we have got in the 36 years of our membership in the NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty) that is supposed to help us acquiring nuclear technology. Not only we got nothing, but they are asking us to give up what we have mastered ourselves”, he said angrily, adding that Iran is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and is paying its membership fees every year, “but, the agency did not provide Iran with any technical assistance”.
Iranian reaching Europe recently described the political atmosphere in Iran as “tense”, quite militarized, but calm as before the storm”.
All these niceties by the authorities aimed at the hearts and soul of the population points to their concern over a possible American military strike.
“While the Armed forces are in virtual state of alert, the authorities, with Ahmadi Nezhad on the lead, are engaged in a nationwide charm offensive”, one students told IPS, hinting, among other signals, that during his latest press conference, the President gave a go to female journalists, including those who were not wearing the black chador, saying, jokingly, that “since we are celebrating women’s Day, it is normal to reserve to the women most of the questions.
He also tried to appear more “human”, less “serious” and even tried, -- although without much success – to draw some laughter from the press corps saying: “They accuse me to be a killer. But I’m a small teacher. I have never in my life killed one ant and hope would never do”.
One day before, he created surprise when he ordered the Iranian Physical Education to “prepare the best of places for women in all stadiums (allowing them to watch football matches).
The move is certain to please millions of Iranian women who, because of discriminatory Islamic laws, are, among other discriminations, barred from stadiums during soccer games.
In another move, despite the police announcements of the start of drastic measures against "bad Islamic behaviours, mosly un-Islamic dress by women", no arrest has been reported and no change in the attitude of those women described as "barby toys".
“All these niceties by the authorities aimed at the hearts and soul of the population points to their concern over a possible American military strike”, another Iranian traveler said, adding that “the more there is talking about American attack, the more the regime wins in popularity”. ENDS KHAMENEHI MENACES 26406
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