Ahmadinejad Warns Against Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Facilities

Posted November 7th, 2011 at 12:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned the United States and Israel against carrying out an attack on his country's nuclear facilities, suspected by the West of being part of an atomic weapons development program.

In an interview with Egyptian newspaper Al-Akhbar published Monday, Mr. Ahmadinejad says Iran “will not allow” anyone to take action against it. He says Iran's military capabilities are increasing and causing “fear” in the United States and Israel.

But Mr. Ahmadinejad repeated his stance that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. U.S. media say a report to be released this week by the U.N. nuclear agency will reveal intelligence that shows Iran has carried out work on developing nuclear weapons technology.

The Washington Post says Western diplomats and nuclear experts who reviewed the intelligence believe Iran has developed a device to trigger a nuclear weapon with the help of a Russian scientist and other foreign experts.

A former official with the International Atomic Energy Agency told the newspaper that the advancements include obtaining the design for and testing of a capsule of explosives used to trigger a nuclear explosion. The New York Times reports that officials briefed on the intelligence say Iran has a facility some believe is used to test such a device.

Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami warned IAEA chief Yukiya Amano Monday against releasing a report of lies, saying that would hurt the U.N. agency's credibility.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday cautioned against military action against Iran, saying it would be a serious mistake leading to unpredictable consequences. He said there is “no military solution” to the Iranian nuclear issue.

The German foreign ministry said Monday Berlin will call for “greater political and diplomatic pressure” on Tehran if the IAEA report confirms Western suspicions about a military dimension to Iran's nuclear work. The U.N. Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran for failing to suspend sensitive nuclear activities that have both military and peaceful uses.

Media reports in Israel last week speculated about government discussions of a possible military strike on Iran.

A Knesset speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the Iranian nuclear threat was followed by additional reports in Israeli media about internal government discussions on a possible preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

But Israeli President Shimon Peres said Friday the international community is closer to pursuing a military option than a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear dispute. Israel sees a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat to its existence.