Were Israel to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, Iran would respond so strongly that it would put the Jewish state into "an eternal coma" like Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's, the Iranian defense minister said Wednesday.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has said his country would not accept Iran's acquiring nuclear weapons under any circumstances. He stopped short of threatening a military strike against Iran - as Israel destroyed an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 - but he said Israel was preparing for the possible failure of diplomatic negotiations with Iran.
A newscaster on Iranian state television read out a response from Iran's minister of defense, Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, on Wednesday.
"Zionists should know that if they do anything evil against Iran, the response of Iran's armed forces will be so firm that it will send them into eternal coma, like Sharon," Najjar said.
The Israeli prime minister suffered a massive stroke on January 4 and has been in a coma ever since. His doctors said he has responded to pain stimulus, but has shown no signs of waking up.