Rouhani: If Israel attacks Iran, it will rue the day

US Secretary of State Kerry tells Al Arabiya US is willing to use military option if Iran reneges on deal with West.

January 23, 2014 20:55
1 minute read.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Israel on Thursday of attacking his country's nuclear facilities, saying Israel will "rue the day" if it does.

"Israel knows very well what the response would be. Israel knows well our regional capability," he told CNN's Fareed Zakaria. "When it comes to practice, the Israelis cannot do that. If they do such a crazy thing, our response will make them rue the day."

On the ongoing nuclear talks with the West, Rouhani insisted Iran would not destroy any of its existing centrifuges "under any circumstances."

"In the context of R&D and peaceful nuclear technology, we will not accept any limitations," Rouhani said.

While Rouhani was displaying a tough front on CNN, US Secretary of State John Kerry told Al Arabiya Thursday that should Iran break its interim agreement with the West and continue enriching uranium, the US will consider using the military option.

"If they broke out, if they decided they were going to throw this agreement away and go start enrichment again, sure they can turn around, but guess what - if they do that, the military option that is available to the United States is ready and is prepared to do what it would have to do," Kerry said.

"I don't think that would last very long. I don't think that's a wise choice for Iran," he added.

On the future of US-Iran relations, Kerry said that if accomplishments can be made on the nuclear issue, Washington would tackle more issues with Tehran, like its support of Hezbollah and its funding of terrorism in the Middle East.

"Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism. Iran is sponsoring Hezbollah right now. Hezbollah is engaged in the violence in Syria. We find that very objectionable. And there are other ways in which Iran has supported terror in the region. We don't agree with that, nor do our friends," he said.

"But you have to take it one step at a time. We are focused on the first step, which is the nuclear program. We are prepared to engage with Iran on the other issues," he continued.

When asked if the United States will ask Iran to disarm Hezbollah, Kerry said "absolutely," adding that the US believes Iran "should stop supporting Hezbollah completely and totally."

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