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Iran claims report on its preventive operations "distorted"
www.chinaview.cn 2004-08-21 18:25:34

   TEHRAN, Aug. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- Iran on Saturday denied a report that it might launch a preemptive attack to prevent a possible raid on its nuclear sites by the United States or Israel, saying the report "distorted" its Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani.

   Some media reported on Wednesday Shamkhani told the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV that Iran might launch a preemptive strike against US forces in the region to prevent an attack on its nuclear site.

   The official IRNA Saturday quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi as saying remarks made by Shamkhani on the country's preventive operations have been "distorted."

   "The Iranian defense minister, in his remarks, stressed that the Islamic Republic defends its territorial integrity and its national interests. However, his remarks have not been quoted precisely and have been misrepresented," Asefi said.

   "We will not sit (with arms folded) to wait for what others will do to us," Shamkhani told Al-Jazeera TV when asked if Iran would respond to a US attack on its nuclear facilities, speaking in Farsi through an interpreter into Arabic.

   "Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly,"he added, according to the translator.

   The US and Israel, accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapons secretly, have been threatening to launch a surprising attack upon Iran's atomic power plant at Bushehr.

   Earlier on Wednesday, Brigadier General Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr, deputy commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, warned that Iran would strike Israel's nuclear reactor at Dimona if Israel's threat was materialized.  Enditem

 

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