Iran discounts Israeli threat

Iran said Israel does not pose a military threat.

“They do not have the capacity to threaten the Islamic Republic of Iran,” a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Tehran said Monday. He was responding to a recent flurry of international media reports suggesting Israel is preparing to attack Iranian nuclear sites.

The spokesman suggested such reports were leaks by the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, which has been beset by scandals.

“They have a number of domestic crises and they want to extrapolate it to cover others. Sometimes they come up with these empty slogans,” he said.

Though Israel has hinted that it could resort to military force to deny its archfoe the means to make a nuclear bomb, its air force is seen as too small to finish the job.

That leaves the possibility of a United States-led strike, despite the Bush administration’s professed preference for diplomatic pressure on Tehran.

Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar on Sunday pledged a “devastating response” to any attack on his country.

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