The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Sep 24, 2012
 

Iran ready to defend against Israeli attack: Ahmadinejad

 
 

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Iran does not take seriously Israeli threats of attack, but is prepared to defend itself, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted that Israel could strike Iran's nuclear sites and has criticised United States (US) President Barack Obama's position that sanctions and diplomacy should be given more time to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Iran denies that it is seeking nuclear arms and says its atomic work is peaceful, aimed at generating electricity. "Fundamentally we do not take seriously the threats of the Zionists. ... We have all the defensive means at our disposal and we are ready to defend ourselves," Dr Ahmadinejad told reporters in New York, where he is due to attend the UN General Assembly.

"While we are fully ready to defend ourselves, we do not take such threats seriously," he said, speaking through an interpreter. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was quoted as saying on Sunday that Iran could launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel if it was sure the Jewish state was preparing to attack it.