Iranian official: Israeli attack not imminent

Khamenei adviser says it is Iranians' duty to be ready for possible military attack on its land, but immediate strike not anticipated.

By REUTERS
November 16, 2011 01:36
2 minute read.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei 311 (R). (photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

NEW YORK - A senior Iranian official said on Tuesday he did not believe an Israeli military strike on Iran was imminent despite fresh Israeli media speculation the Jewish state might be considering one.

Israel has long refused to rule out a military response to Iran's nuclear program, which it believes aims at producing an atomic weapon. Tehran says the program is simply intended to generate nuclear power.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
'Ex-Iranian official says Mossad behind base blast'
Barak hopes there will be more explosions in Iran

Israel attacked a suspected Syrian nuclear site in 2007 and, in 1981, destroyed a nuclear reactor in Iraq before it was set to start operating.

Tension has risen since last week, when the UN nuclear watchdog reported Tehran appeared to have worked on designing a bomb and may still be conducting secret research to that end.

Asked if he was concerned about a possible Israeli strike, Mohammad Javad Larijani, a foreign affairs adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said: "If you mean that I think (a) military attack on Iran is imminent, definitely no."

"If you mean that we should be on guard against any ... possible military attack on our land, yes," he told Reuters in an interview.



Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

Iran "learned that ... the hard way" after being invaded by Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 1980, Larijani said, adding it was the duty of Iranians to be ready.

"But if you are asking me ... if any military action against Iran is imminent from ... any side, I don't anticipate that," he said.

Larijani, also head of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, is visiting New York before a planned vote by a UN General Assembly committee on a resolution condemning the human rights situation in Iran.

Speculation in Israel about an attack on Iran has been fueled by Israel's recent test-launching of a long-range missile and comments by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that Tehran's nuclear program posed a "direct and heavy threat."

But Defense Minister Ehud Barak last week played down the speculation, saying no decision had been made on embarking on a military operation.

Iranian officials have responded to the speculation mainly with defiance. Khamenei warned Israel and the United States last week that any attack would be met "with strong slaps and iron fists."

Related Content

Bushehr nuclear Iranian
August 5, 2014
Iran and the bomb: The future of negotiations

By YONAH JEREMY BOB