Agence France-Presse – 2010-08-03 20:37:16
TEHRAN (August 3, 2010) — Iranian officials lashed out on Tuesday at remarks by the top US military chief that Washington had a plan to attack Tehran, saying the US would suffer a defeat worse than in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Sunday the United States has drawn up the plan to prevent Iran getting nuclear weapons, but was “extremely concerned” about the upshot of any such attack.
“In case of an attack against Iran, their destiny will be worse than their pitiable destiny in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.
Mottaki hoped that better sense would prevail in Washington, saying “they said they would go to some places and they went. But we have seen what happened to them. We think there are still rational people in America… who will not put the American dignity on sale.”
Earlier on Tuesday, foreign ministry’s spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast also dismissed Mullen’s remarks.
“We witness such inappropriate remarks by these American military officials,” he told reporters at his weekly news conference in Tehran. “We think the reason behind it stems from the consecutive (US) defeats in the region and its military adventurism which has resulted in deaths of innocent citizens and of their own forces.”
In a separate statement, Iran’s Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi described Mullen’s comments as “fascistic.” “Such remarks are in contradiction to their claims of change that they are after dialogue and peace,” Vahidi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA. “They show that they are unable to stand against the will of Iran. Having plans to attack an independent nation… in the third millennium is a clear violation of the UN charter.”
Speaking on US television, Mullen held out hope on Sunday that a combination of diplomatic efforts and sanctions would force Tehran to suspend a uranium enrichment program that many believe is a secret bid to develop nuclear arms.
At the same time, though, he said “the military options have been on the table, and remain on the table.”
“I hope we don’t get to that, but it’s an important option and it’s one that’s well understood,” he added. Asked if the military has a plan to strike Iran, Mullen replied, “We do.” He did not elaborate.
Iran insists its uranium enrichment program is for peaceful purposes only.
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