Monday, January 28, 2008

Iran: Israel too weak to confront us

Dudi Cohen

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says Jewish state's ballistic missile capability won't help it in confrontations with Islamic republic; meanwhile, Iranian-Egyptian rapprochement in the works "Israel is too weak to confront Iran. The leaders of this illegitimate fake regime know well would happen in the region in response to an attack (against us)," Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Monday in response to a successful Israeli ballistic missile test.

In a press conference in Tehran, Mottaki said that "If Israel's nuclear missile warheads could have helped, she would have won the (Second) Lebanon War."

According to the minister, "The interior structure of the Zionist regime has been affected by the repercussions of its humiliating defeat in the Lebanon confrontation – not with a classic army, but rather with a popular resistance."

In response to the possibility that the UN Security Council will impose additional sanctions on Iran following the country' refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program, Mattaki said: "Despite the fact that this step is illogical and unlawful, if that's the way its going to be – Iran will have a serious and reasonable response."

The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported that the minister added that the additional sanctions "would have no impact on the desire of the nation and the Iranian leadership on its path to realizing its full rights in general and with regards to the nuclear aspect."

Reestablishment of relations with Egypt

Mottaki also referred to open Gaza-Egypt border saying "right now my special representative is in Cairo for consultations on opening the Egyptian border in order to transfer aid to the besieged (Palestinian) people."

He noted that his country "is on the threshold of establishing official diplomatic relations with Egypt." Mottaki said that in recent phone conversation between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the two spoke about transferring aid to the Gaza Strip.

Mottaki emphasized that "we're waiting for our Egyptian friends to express their ultimate willingness to renew relations."

Relations were severed between the two states in 1979 when the Egyptians extended fleeing Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi a political refuge following the Islamic revolution in his country.

The speaker of the Iranian Parliament, Gholamali Hadad Adel, is expected to arrive to Egypt on Tuesday to participate in an assembly for the unification of the parliaments of Islamic countries.

It will be the first official visit of a senior Iranian figure to Cairo since the severance of relations. Adel is scheduled to meet with President Mubarak as well as other prominent figures.

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