Iran calls Israeli threats a ‘joke’

By Aaron Klein

Iran yesterday dismissed the threat of an Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities as a “silly joke.”

“This is a silly joke, just a psychological war,” foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.

“The Israelis have an accurate appraisal of their own capabilities and Iran’s capabilities. And they know that resorting to this will only translate into a decisive and irrevocable response to the Zionist regime,” he added.

In recent weeks there has been a mounting war of words with Israel, which accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran recently announced it may decide to pre-empt an Israeli or American strike with an attack against the Jewish state or U.S. interests in the Middle East.

The ayatollahs have also gone to great lengths to warn that Iran can “hit anywhere in Israel” with its upgraded version of the Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile.

In July, Israel conducted military exercises for a pre-emptive strike against several of Iran’s nuclear-power facilities and is ready to attack if Russia supplies Iran with rods for enriching uranium.

An Israeli defense source said, “Israel will on no account permit Iranian reactors – especially the one being built in Bushehr with Russian help – to go critical.”

The source also said any strike on Iran’s reactors would probably be carried out by long-range F-15I jets, flying over Turkey, with simultaneous operations by commandos on the ground.

Russia is expected to deliver the enriching rods, currently being stored at a Russian port, late next year after a dispute over financial terms is resolved.

“If the worst comes to the worst and international efforts fail,” the source said, “we are very confident we’ll be able to demolish the ayatollah’s nuclear aspirations in one go.”

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