Any attack on Iran by the U.S. military would be a strategic mistake, as officials in Tehran dismiss recent remarks by the Bush administration as psychological warfare.
“We think the chance [of an American assault] is very low unless someone wants to make a major strategic blunder,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said at a weekly news conference. “Logically speaking, we don’t think this is going to happen.”
Iran is responding to comments in the past week by both President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Bush said he had not ruled out any action against Iran, which officials believe is continuing to pursue a nuclear program for use in weapons. Cheney had said Iran was “right at the top of the list” of trouble spots in the world, adding Israel could choose on its own to bomb Tehran’s nuclear facilities.
“It’s nothing new. Once in a while America starts a psychological war,” Asefi said. “These kind of remarks are clear examples of cultural and religious war which will only lead to people’s hatred of U.S. policies … and will isolate America more than before.”
In separate comments carried by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency, Intelligence Minister Ali Yunessi called any potential U.S. attack “stupid” and “America’s biggest error.” He also said security preparations had been under way for the past three years to “neutralize any plot.”
The heated back-and-forth rhetoric comes on the heels of a report in the New Yorker magazine claiming the Pentagon was conducting secret reconnaissance within Iran’s borders to help identify potential nuclear, chemical and missile targets. U.S. officials have called that report “riddled with errors of fundamental fact,” but they did not deny conducting covert reconnaissance.
In a story in today’s Sunday Times of London, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has put together a 200-page dossier arguing against any attack, but promoting a “negotiated solution” to quell Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
According to the Times, the document says a peaceful solution led by Britain, France and Germany is ‘in the best interests of Iran and the international community.’ It refers to ‘safeguarding Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology.'”