Iran scoffs at US military threat in nuclear row
Iran scoffed at the idea of US military action to halt its nuclear programme and gave no hint of compromise on Thursday.india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 23:38 IST
Iran scoffed at the idea of US military action to halt its nuclear programme and gave no hint of compromise on Thursday before a visit by UN inspectors to assess Iranian compliance with Security Council demands.
The International Atomic Energy Agency will report to the top world body on April 28 on whether Tehran has halted uranium enrichment and answered IAEA questions about its nuclear activities in line with a 30-day deadline set by the council.
US President George W Bush has vowed to stop Iran from getting atomic weapons and has refused to rule out military options, including nuclear strikes, if diplomacy fails.
"The United States has been threatening Iran for 27 years and this is not new for us. Therefore we are never afraid of US threats," Iranian Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar told reporters during a visit to neighbouring Azerbaijan.
"If you take into account the fact that they are not doing anything, this shows it is just talk," he said.
Najjar said Iran was ready to negotiate, but would deal with any challenge confronting it.
Senior IAEA inspectors were due in Iran on Friday to gauge Iranian compliance for the report that Mohamed ElBaradei, the UN watchdog's director, is preparing for the Security Council.