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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran ready to defend itself from possible U.S. attack - speaker

RIA Novosti

05/04/2007 21:33 ISLAMABAD, April 5 (RIA Novosti) - Iran is prepared to defend itself should the United States attack it, the speaker of Iran's parliament said Thursday.

The last few days have seen reports in Russian and foreign media that the U.S. has scheduled an operation, codenamed Bite, against Iran for 4:00 a.m. local time April 6. The operation, should it materialize, would deliver air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities over a 12-hour period.

"The Iranian people are ready and determined to protect their land and to repel any enemy attack," Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel said at a press conference during his visit to Pakistan.

However, he said it was highly unlikely the U.S. would attack his country, as "the U.S. has no real reason to do so."

The speaker added that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had assured him that Pakistan would never get involved in any actions aimed at Iran.

The U.S. has not excluded a military option in the standoff with Iran over its refusal to abandon its uranium enrichment program.

The UN Security Council passed a new resolution on Iran two weeks ago toughening economic sanctions against the country and accepting the possibility of a military solution to the crisis.

The U.S. Administration sees Iran as a "rogue state" and is determined to stop the Islamic Republic, diplomatically or otherwise, from obtaining nuclear weapons. Washington now plans to deploy a missile defense shield in Central Europe allegedly to protect itself from potential missile strikes from Iran or North Korea.

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