Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Iran Will Respond With Force To Any Threat
Iran will respond with force to any threats to its territorial integrity, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday, adding that it would prefer to cooperate with its Arab neighbours to maintain security in the Gulf.
"The armed forces and the army will inflict heavy regret and shame in case of any aggression against Iranian lands and interests," Ahmadinejad told military commanders and personnel on the occasion of Iran's annual Army Day.
Iran "is ready to protect its existence and sovereignty," he said.
Iran's army commander, General Ataollah Salehi, echoed the remarks, saying his forces "would not allow anyone to threaten Iran's territorial integrity."
General Salehi also expressed pride over an April 11 visit by Ahmadinejad to the island of Abu Musa, which along with Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb islands are claimed by both Iran and the United Arab Emirates.
"The three islands are part of Iranian territory," he said in remarks
reported by the Mehr news agency, adding that the army would not tolerate any "discussions" about the country's territorial sovereignty.
Ahmadinejad himself during his Tuesday speech neither referred to the visit nor to fresh tensions with Gulf Arab nations over it.
He said the key to lasting stability in the Gulf was regional cooperation.
"When it comes to the Persian Gulf, security is achieved only through the collective cooperation of all nations and governments," he said, while lashing out at "foreign interference which only causes destruction and division."