Iran threatened the United States with "harm and pain" on Wednesday, for its role in hauling Tehran before the UN Security Council over its nuclear program.
"The United States has the power to cause harm and pain," said a statement meant for delivery at the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board as it focused on Tehran's refusal to freeze uranium enrichment.
"But the United States is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if that is the path that the US wishes to choose, let the ball roll."
The White House dismissed Iran's threats.
"I think that provocative statements and actions only further isolate Iran from the rest of the world," White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters traveling with President George W. Bush.
The US ambassador to the United Nations said the comments reflected the menace posed by Iran.
"Their threats show why leaving a country like that with a nuclear weapon is so dangerous," John Bolton said. He classified the Iranian comments as "reflecting their determination to acquire weapons."