TEHRAN (FNA) Hezbollah’s leader said Tuesday that any US attack on Iran would be “the biggest folly” in American history.
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah’s comments came as President Bush toured the Middle East on a trip used in part to drum up Arab opposition against Iran, a goal described by the Islamic Republic officials as already failed.
Responding to Bush, Nasrallah said Iran would defend itself against any US attack.
“If America launches a war against Iran, it will be the biggest folly committed by America in its history,” the cleric said in a speech broadcast on a giant screen in front of thousands of supporters in downtown Beirut.
Nasrallah suggested that if the US attacked Iran, there would be such a backlash that American interests in the region would be destroyed.
“Who said that a war on Iran will achieve America’s expectations?” Nasrallah asked.
Nasrallah also warned against a worsening humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, saying Bush’s visit to Israel had empowered the Zionist regime to wreak havoc in Palestinian areas.
His comments came hours after Israeli troops killed 19 Palestinians in the bloodiest day of Gaza fighting since Hamas militants seized control there last summer.
Bush is on a regional tour that has taken him to the Palestinian territories, Israel, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. He heads to Egypt on Wednesday.
US is at odds with Iran, mainly due to Iran’s independent and self-grown progress in the nuclear technology. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.
According to the NPT, Iran is as a signatory entitled to pursue civilian nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment.
Foreign ministers from the permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as Germany are expected to meet in Berlin next Tuesday to iron out differences over new sanctions with most objections coming from Russia and China.
Tehran has so far rejected this demand.
Iran is under two sets of UN Security Council sanctions for its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment even after the peaceful nature of its nuclear programs and activities was proved.
Washington is pushing for additional UN penalties despite a recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and a similar report by the IAEA head in November which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities, Russia and China increased resistance to any further punitive measures by the Security Council.
Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran’s nuclear program has lost steam due by the US intelligence report.
Tehran says it never worked on atomic weapons and wants to enrich uranium only to produce fuel for reactors that would generate electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.
Not only many Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but also many other world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure unjustified, especially in the wake of recent IAEA reports saying Iran had increased cooperation with the agency.