Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Iran says would act against enemies if endangered

(Reuters) - Iran would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic's armed forces was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying on Tuesday.

"Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran's national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions," Mohammad Hejazi told Fars news agency.

Iran is facing increasing international pressure and isolation over its disputed nuclear activity. Expanded Western sanctions aim to block its economically vital oil exports and Tehran has said it could retaliate by shutting the Strait of Hormuz shipping lane vital to global energy supplies.

Still, a top U.S. intelligence official said last week that while U.S. spy services believed Iran would respond if attacked, they thought it was unlikely to start a conflict.

Israel and the United States do not rule out military action against Iran if sanctions and diplomacy fail to rein in its nuclear energy campaign. Read More