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Iran has warned that US military bases in the Middle East are within the range of its missiles, amid increasing tensions with Washington over the Iranian nuclear program, media reports claimed on Monday.
"All the American bases in the region are within the reach of our weapons," AFP quoted Muhammad Baqer Zolghadr, the deputy interior minister in charge of security issues, as saying.
"If the United States attacked Iran, US interests would be in danger everywhere in the world," added Zolghadr, a former deputy chief of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.
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Iran has an array of medium range missiles and claims that its longer-range Shahab-3 missile has a reach of 2,000 kilometers which would put US bases on the Arabian peninsula within reach.
Separately, Iranian parliament speaker Gholam Ali Hadad Adel told reporters during an official visit to Kuwait that his country would strike US military bases in neighboring Gulf states if they were used as staging posts to attack the Islamic republic over its nuclear program.
"We rule out the possibility that our neighbors... will allow the United States to use their territory in attacking Iran," he said, according to AFP.
"But if this actually happens, we will be forced to defend ourselves... We will target those bases or points" used to attack Iran, he said.
Adel said that some Gulf states, which he did not name, had assured Teheran that they would not allow their territory to be used in the event of an attack on Iran.
"Yes. Some countries in the region did," he said when asked if Gulf countries had given such assurances. "Parliaments in some of these countries have even called for not allowing the United States to use their bases to attack Iran," said Adel, adding that this issue had not been discussed with Kuwaiti officials.
The Iranian speaker also said that Gulf states had now "learned many lessons from the US invasion of Iraq," in March 2003, and that "officials in the region are not likely to link their fate with US mistakes."
Meanwhile, the Iranian Student News Agency, associated with the Teheran regime, reported that Iran's former defense minister, Admiral Ali Shamkhani, was not interviewed by the US journal Defense News. Other media had quoted Shamkhani as saying that Iran would raid the Persian Gulf states if the US attacked its nuclear facilities.
INSA said the reports appeared "in a forged interview."
Shamkhani denied having any interview with Defense News. "There was no interview and the news is fake and unreal," he added.
The US journal was apparently trying to give Iran a threatening face by publishing a fake interview with Shamkhani, INSA reported.