Iran dismisses 'hollow' threat of Israeli attack

Tehran decries discussion of Israeli military strike against it as "a stupid action," calls threats a "sign of weakness."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 14, 2012 14:26
2 minute read.
Iranian nuclear facility at Qoms

Iran Nuclear Satellite Pic 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Iran said it is not taking discussions of a possible Israeli attack very seriously, saying that the leadership in Tehran views them as "hollow and baseless," AFP quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramim Mehmanparast as saying Tuesday.

"In our calculations, we aren't taking these claims very seriously because we see them as hollow and baseless," Mehmanparast told reporters in a weekly briefing.

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"Even if some officials in the illegitimate regime (Israel) want to carry out such a stupid action, there are those inside (the Israeli government) who won't allow it because they know they would suffer very severe consequences from such an act," he said.

Meanwhile, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi referred to Israeli threats of a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities as "as sign of weakness," by "brainless leaders," according to Iran's ISNA news agency.

The comments come amid a flurry of commentary and speculation from current and former government officials on how Israel should deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions, many of them voicing criticism at the open discussion of a possible military strike.

Former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin Shahak on Monday joined the chorus of voices opposing an Israeli strike on Iran, saying that Israel must not rush to act. Speaking at an event to mark 20 years since the establishment of the second Rabin government, Lipkin asserted his faith in the opinion of security officials.

Lipkin dismissed talk that Israel must attack Iran's nuclear facilities by the Fall, saying that the option would still be on the table after presidential election in the United States, and that it is wrong to present the situation as otherwise.



He added that there is no doubt that the US has a must stronger ability to remove the Iranian threat.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

Playing down the imminence of such an attack, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom called for imposing stricter sanctions against Iran on Sunday

In an interview with Army Radio, Shalom said "At this time we can bring the US to accept the right choices, and that is to impose even stricter sanctions that are made to subdue and topple the Iranian regime and perhaps bring it to abandon its nuclear program."

On Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a press briefing that a military strike could wait while the West pursues diplomatic options, in part because "we feel confident that we would be able to detect a break-out move by Iran towards the acquisition of a nuclear weapon.

Former Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Tzahi Hanegbi responded on Sunday, telling Israel Radio that there is no certainty that intelligence agencies will discover Iranian nuclear advancements in time, and that essential information may only be uncovered after the fact.

Hanegbi went on to condemn the public debate on a possible military strike, saying that the flood of headlines and articles in the media are a serious betrayal by those trying to tie the government's hands.

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