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A top security official accused the United States Thursday of seeking to undermine Iran's clerical regime by stoking sectarian and ethnic tensions in the country and using newspapers and non-governmental agencies toward that goal.
"A soft threat is the main plan of the US due to its incapability to launch a military operation [against Iran,]" Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.
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Zolqadr, whose comments came in a speech he made in Iran's Kurdistan province, said, "The threat is being implemented through the creation of instability and tension inside Iran as well as fanning ethnic and sectarian differences."
"The threat is being implemented through the creation of instability and tension inside Iran as well as fanning ethnic and sectarian differences," said Zolqadr.
Earlier Thursday, he said that his country would attack Israel and American targets throughout the world if Teheran were attacked over its nuclear program, Israel Radio reported.
According to the official Iranian news agency, the official, who deals with defense issues, said that no American would be safe from Iran's long-range missiles.
"We are prepared to fire tens of thousands of these missiles every day," he said.
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He added that the Shahab 3 missiles, which have a range of some 2,000 kilometers, could hit Israel, as well as US Army bases in the Persian Gulf.
Meanwhile, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, expressed a more positive view of the situation, saying Thursday morning that Wednesday's talks with EU Foreign Police Chief Javier Solana had brought them closer to "a united view" of how to break a deadlock over Teheran's defiance of a UN Security Council demand to freeze uranium enrichment.
Larijani added that Iran was "aiming to reach out for a common paradigm."
The two reported progress after their six-hour meeting on Wednesday evening, and planned to meet again in two weeks' time.
"We had a good meeting," Solana told reporters. "We cannot make miracles, but we tried to move...the [nuclear] dossier forward."