"Our stance is based on restraint and detente, but if we are threatened by America, all the Iranian nation will face up (any attack) in an integrated rank," he told a group of mourners of at the Imam Khomeini mausoleum.
Meanwhile, a leading cleric in the central city of Isfahan on Sunday fended off US President George W. Bush's "axis of evil" charge against Iran along with Iraq and North Korea.
"The Iranian people are not intimidated a bit by Bush's and American threats," Ayatollah Abolqassem Khaz'ali said.
"The Iranian nation did not lose an acre of their soil during the eight year (1980-1988) war while the world was behind (Iraqi President) Saddam Hossein. This was thanks to their love in Imam Hossein," the cleric said in reference to the third Imam of Shia Muslims, Imam Hossein, who was martyred 1,300 years ago.
Iranians of various political hue have denounced US President George W. Bush's branding of Iran as part of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea.
Several officials and military chiefs have vowed strong resistance in the event of an attack amid US officials' accusations against Iran.
On Friday, a guards commander said that Iran will stand up against enemies with all force and defend the country.
"We are not seeking a war, but we will stand up against the enemy should the need for defense arise," the chief commander of the naval forces of the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps, Brigadier Morteza Saffari, said in the southern city of Shush in the Khuzestan province.
Iran's armed forces have reached self-sufficiency in many military fields and are ready to defend the values of the system and the country, Saffari added.
The daily Los Angeles Times wrote recently that the White House had asked the US military to draw up contingency plans to use nuclear weapons against China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria.
President Mohammad Khatami recently said that Iran is still committed to its policy of detente in the face of pending threats to the world from warmongers.
... Payvand News - 3/25/02 ... --