Recent reports suggesting Israel is considering attacking Iran are just “media clamour” and the Islamic republic is able to face down any threat, Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Tuesday.
“We have repeatedly said that our country’s defensive capability, whether at sea, by missile, or underwater, is very high and up-to-date and we have the might to fend off any threats,” the ISNA news agency quoted Vahidi as saying.
“Rather, the recent threats against Iran are media clamour, and I believe it derives from the West’s weakness against Iran. In my opinion, they are the last groans of a dying movement of oppression out of which the Zionist regime (Israel) was born.”
Vahidi said the threats, circulating in the Israeli press, came at a time when Israel and the United States were confronting domestic problems.
“In any case, Western threats are not important and we are ready to give a powerful response to any ignorant (action) by the enemies.”
Israeli President Shimon Peres warned on Sunday that an attack on Iran was increasingly likely, ahead of a pivotal report on Iran’s nuclear programme due to be released this week by the UN nuclear watchdog.
“I don’t think that any decision has already been made, but there is an impression that Iran is getting closer to nuclear weapons,” he said.
Speculation has grown in Israel about the possibility of a strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, with the Haaretz newspaper reporting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak were seeking cabinet support for an attack.