Iran to set Tel Aviv ablaze if attacked
From Al Arabiya News Channel:
Iran will set Tel Aviv on fire if Israel attacks the Islamic republic over its controversial nuclear program, newspapers on Sunday quoted Iran's envoy to the United Nations as saying.
"If the Zionist regime commits the slightest aggression against the Iranian soil, we will set the entire war front and Tel Aviv on fire," Mohammad Khazai said in the northeastern town of Kashmar, the Farhang-e Ashti daily reported.
The government-run Iran newspaper quoted him as saying that the "noise" about an Israeli attack on the Islamic republic is a "sign of the enemy's fear."
Israel has never ruled out taking military action to thwart Iran's program of uranium enrichment, accusing its arch-foe of seeking to acquire atomic weapons -- a charge Tehran denies.
Iranian officials have frequently warned of a crushing response in the event of an attack either by Israel or the United States, which has led international efforts to bring a halt to Tehran's uranium enrichment work.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he has a plan to attack Iran if needed to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons, but is "extremely concerned" about the possible repercussions of such a strike.
Mullen said military action against Iran could have "unintended consequences that are difficult to predict in what is an incredibly unstable part of the world."
But, speaking on Sunday's "Meet the Press" program on NBC, Mullen said allowing Iran to develop a nuclear weapon was also unacceptable.
"Quite frankly, I am extremely concerned about both of those outcomes," he said.
Mullen held out hope that a combination of international diplomatic efforts and sanctions against Iran would lead Tehran to suspend a nuclear enrichment program that many believe is a clandestine bid to develop nuclear arms.
"I am hopeful (it) works," he said.
At the same time, though, he said "the military options have been on the table, and remain on the table".
"I hope we don't get to that, but it's an important option and it's one that's well understood," he added.
Asked if the military has a plan to strike Iran, Mullen replied, "We do".
He did not elaborate.
Iran insists that its nuclear program is peaceful and has refused to stop enrichment in defiance of the U.N. Security Council, which has imposed four sets of sanctions on Tehran.
On Friday, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said Iran would never give up its right to enrich uranium, but it could suspend higher-level work for several years if a long-delayed fuel swap can be agreed with foreign powers.
Iran has thousands of centrifuges enriching uranium to the 3.5 percent level it says it needs for generating power. It began refining small amounts to the 20 percent level in February, alarming Western powers because this takes the material closer to the grade needed for a nuclear weapon.