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IRGC Commander: US unable to make any security changes without Iran

Tehran, Feb 21, IRNA - Commander of the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi said here Wednesday that the American are not able to make any security changes in the Middle East region without the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Safavi made the remarks in the ninth festival on "Salman Farsi".

Iran has the final say in restoring security to the Middle East region and the Americans cannot ignore Iran's vital role to this end, he said.

The Middle East region is now under very sensitive conditions and Iran is considered as the heart of this region, he pointed out.

IRGC has launched all-out efforts to strengthen its defensive capabilities in order to prevent any attacks on the country, he underlined.

Iranian military and security forces should maintain their combat readiness at highest level under the current sensitive situation, he said.

"We should enhance our defense and security on land, at sea and in the air and make them all insecure for enemies," said the IRGC commander.

Iranian scientists and researchers have played significant role in the country's military and defense development, he said.

US threats against Iran violate int'l law: Larijani

Vienna, Feb 21, IRNA - Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani said here Tuesday that statements by US officials amounting to threats against Iran on account of its nuclear activities are an indication of their double standards and violate international law.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator was speaking to reporters following talks with Director-General of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei.

"Resolution 553 of the IAEA annual conference in 1990 provides that any threat or attack on nuclear facilities under construction or undergoing work violate the UN Charter," Larijani said.

He said the UN Security Council has the duty to respond properly in any such event.

He said the Security Council has a mandate to respond to improper measures against states such threats and added that the use of double standards was a main cause of problems.

"This double standards approach will be a serious blow to international institutions and will result in countries defining their response in different ways," he said.

The US continues to insist Iran cannot be trusted with a nuclear program, and although President George W Bush has said he prefers diplomacy to resolve the standoff he has also said he will not rule out military action against Iran.

Larijani said entertaining the idea of launching a war is itself a threat and reminded of the destructive effects of war.

Asked about the possibility of a temporary suspension of enrichment by Iran and US measures in case Iran refuses to comply with Security Council Resolution 1737, the Larijani said "unusual and extremist behavior has its own specific response."

Comparing the ongoing standoff to a game of chess, he said the possibility of "reaching a conclusion" was always open.

He expressed Iran's concern the opposite side would insist on depriving it of the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology by imposing pressure.

He noted the concern of the other side that Iran's nuclear activities would in the future be diverted to production of nuclear weapons.

"Both concerns should be removed through negotiation," he said.

... Payvand News - 2/21/07 ... --

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