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Iran Talks Tough: Hints at Pre-emptive Strikes
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On the Iranian New Year of Nowroz, Iran’s supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the nation that if faced with aggression from the U.S. or Israel, Iran will attack to defend itself.

Speaking during the New Year’s address to the nation on live television, the religious leader, considered as the most powerful individual in Iran said, “We do not have nuclear weapons and we will not build them but in the face of aggression from the enemies, whether from America or the Zionist regime, to defend ourselves we will attack on the same level as the enemies attack us.”

Addressing the U.S. foreign policies head on, Khamenei said “Americans are making a grave mistake if they think by making threats they will destroy the Iranian nation.”

  
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Khamenei reminded the people of Iran about the nuclear achievements of the country over the last year, including the loading of fuel rods made at home into the Tehran Research Reactor, and uranium enrichment up to 20 percent.

The Iranian leader praised the efforts of the government saying, “In a situation where the enemies were putting bets on the fall of the Iranian nation and talking about the crippling sanctions, Iran has accomplished all these achievements.”

Marking both U.S. and Israel clearly as enemies, Khamenei indicated that Iran would continue with its policies.

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Recent talks between Iran and other world powers did not end in an agreement because Iran refused to suspend its uranium enrichment work which was demanded by a number of major powers and several U.N. resolutions.

Iran maintains that as a sovereign nation it has the right to develop its peaceful nuclear program according to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.



Khamenei’s speech was in direct response to recent international developments where both U.S. and Israel threatened military action against Iran as long as the intention of Iran’s nuclear development program remains opaque and held the possibility of creating nuclear weapons.

The speech comes at a moment when the U.S. is targeting on tougher sanctions and pressing its allies to join wholeheartedly in the action. There are also chances of the U.S. increasingly alienating itself from major economic powers like China, Japan and India, who continue to be the biggest purchasers of oil from Iran.



 

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