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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran scoffs at U.S., Israeli military threats

RIA Novosti

16/09/2008 16:47 TEHRAN, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - Israel and the United States lack the ability to commit an act of aggression against Iran in an effort to destroy its nuclear installations, the Iranian president's senior military advisor said Tuesday.

"The Zionist regime lacks the diplomatic, economic and social capability to launch a wide-scale war," General Yahya Rahim Safavi said in response to threats by Israel to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.

He said Iran's armed forces, including the Revolutionary Guards, and 11 million members of the Basij, the Guards' voluntary force, "are fully prepared to deal with any attack."

With regard to the United States, Safavi said its 200,000-strong contingent in the region was deployed in such a way that it actually posed "a serious danger" to the U.S. itself

"There is no doubt that the Americans, who are stuck in Afghanistan, Iraq and Georgia, will not open a fourth front," he said, referring to a possible attack on Iran.

Iran launched a three-day series of Air Force and missile-defense exercises throughout the country on Monday.

Tehran has conducted several high-profile war games this year, while promising a powerful retaliation in the event of any act of aggression against the country. The United States and Israel have consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military action against Iran over its refusal to halt its nuclear program.

The country recently took delivery of 29 Russian-made Tor-M1 air defense missile systems under a $700 million contract signed in late 2005. Russia has also trained Iranian Tor-M1 specialists, including radar operators and crew commanders.

In July, Iran successfully launched an upgraded Shahab-3 ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km (1,240 miles), and several missiles with a range of 350 kilometers (217 miles) as part of the Great Prophet III military exercise in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, drawing a new wave of international criticism.

Iran is currently under three sets of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions for defying demands to halt uranium enrichment, which it says it needs purely for electricity generation despite Western accusations that the program is geared toward weapon production.

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