Defiant Iranians 'Ready For War'
UK Daily Mirror | February 26, 2007
IRAN defiantly vowed not to back down in its nuclear stand-off with the West yesterday - and insisted it was ready for war if necessary.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he would not halt his country's nuclear programme, adding: "Iran has obtained the technology to produce nuclear fuel and Iran's move is like a train which has no brake and no reverse gear."
And deputy foreign minister Manouchehr Mohammadi warned: "We have prepared ourselves for any situation, even for war."
But US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said: "They don't need a reverse gear. They need a stop button."
Iran's military have recently taken part in war games, the latest of which involved testing several missiles. There have also been reports that Iran has fired a missile capable of reaching space. Yesterday's tough talking came on the eve of a UN Security Council members' meeting in London to discuss steps on Iran.
Sanctions have already been imposed on Tehran over its defiance of a UN resolution ordering it to stop uranium enrichment - a vital step in the development of nuclear capability.
Iran insists it only wants nuclear power to generate electricity. But Washington claims Tehran plans to make nuclear weapons. America wants a diplomatic solution to the deadlock - but has not ruled out military action.
The Pentagon is reported to have plans for a bombing raid on Iran's nuclear sites. But a spokesman denied the claims, saying: "The US is not planning to go to war with Iran. To suggest anything to the contrary is wrong, misleading and mischievous."
Meanwhile, foreign ministers from seven Muslim states meeting in Pakistan have called for a diplomatic solution to the "dangerous" stand-off.
The Government dismissed claims Britain had lost the "moral high ground" because of plans to upgrade the Trident missile system. Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram said "When it comes to national security, moral high ground doesn't save lives."