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Iran Conducts War Games, Says It Should Be Ready for Enemy Attack


19 August 2006

The commander in chief of Iran's army says his country must be ready for possible attacks by what he called Iran's "crazy" enemy.

Iranian state media said Ataollah Salehi was speaking at the start of large scale military maneuvers to test Iran's air defenses.

Salehi said Iran's enemy has gone "crazy" because of the capabilities of Lebanon's Hezbollah. It was not clear whether he was referring to Israel or the United States or both. He said Iran should always be prepared given what he called the "crazy enemy's history."

The maneuvers come as Iran faces possible United Nations sanctions over its nuclear enrichment activities.

In an interview with Britain's Guardian newspaper, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tehran has a right to nuclear power, and "no one" will stop Iranians from developing the country.

On Thursday, U.S. Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said the United States will push quickly for sanctions if Iran fails to suspend uranium enrichment by an end of August deadline, set by the U.N. Security Council.

The United States, Britain, France and Germany, among others, believe Tehran is secretly building nuclear weapons.

Tehran has said it will respond by August 22 to an offer of economic incentives from the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany. The incentives would be in exchange for a suspension of Iran's nuclear enrichment activities.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.



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