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Iran warns against hits on nuclear facilities

September 22, 2008|From the Associated Press

TEHRAN — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned Sunday that the military would strike back against anyone targeting his country's nuclear facilities.

He spoke during a military parade featuring a banner calling for the end of Israel. The parade displayed various Iranian-made missiles.

"If anyone allows himself to commit even a tiny offense against Iran's legitimate interests, borders and sacred land, our armed forces will break his hand before he pulls the trigger," Ahmadinejad said at the parade.

The phrase "legitimate interests" is Iranian parlance for the country's nuclear program, which the West alleges is a cover for developing nuclear weapons. Iran, which denies the charge, already is under three sets of sanctions by the U.N. Security Council over the issue.

Ahmadinejad said Sunday that sanctions only help Iran achieve self-sufficiency.

The United States and Israel say they support a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff with Iran but cannot rule out the military option.

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