Iran would "eliminate Israel from the global arena" if it was attacked by the Jewish state, the deputy commander of the army warned on Tuesday, amid an intensifying war of words. "We are not worried by Israeli manoeuvres, but if Israel takes such action against the Islamic Republic of Iran, we will eliminate it from the global arena," Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was set to irk Western powers again on Monday by announcing a stride forward in his country's atomic drive as it marked the first Iranian national day of nuclear technology. Ahmadinejad was to make a keynote speech at about noon at the country's most sensitive nuclear site in Natanz.
Iran said on Monday it was interrogating 15 British sailors it seized last week, claiming they had entered its waters illegally and defying intense international pressure for their release. As the diplomatic row deepened, Britain ambassador Geoffrey Adams held more talks at the Foreign Ministry in Tehran and was assured that the group was "fit and well".
Iran is ready for unconditional talks over its nuclear programme but rejects the West's ''language of force'' over the issue, one of the Islamic republic's religious leaders said on Friday. Iran also said that it will soon announce new nuclear successes in its quest for nuclear power that the West fears is aimed at acquiring atomic weapons.
Iran on Tuesday gave a cautious reception to an international proposal aimed at resolving the crisis over its disputed nuclear drive, saying the offer contains "positive steps" but also "ambiguities". The package, presented by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, offers a variety of incentives and fresh multilateral talks if Tehran agrees to suspend uranium-enrichment work.
Iran warned on Tuesday it will sever relations with the United Nations atomic watchdog if sanctions are imposed over its nuclear drive and vowed a military attack would merely send its activities underground. Despite the tough rhetoric, diplomats in Vienna said a high-level Iranian delegation was to hold last-minute talks on Wednesday with the UN atomic agency.
A defiant Iran vowed on Wednesday that nothing could halt its controversial nuclear programme, in a direct challenge to the United Nations Security Council that could risk international sanctions. With the country basking in national pride after scientists successfully enriched uranium to make nuclear fuel, officials pledged to move rapidly to industrial-scale work.
Iran warned on Tuesday that the referral of a dispute over its nuclear programme to the United Nations Security Council will bring ''an end to diplomacy'', saying the move had no legal justification. Foreign ministers of the five permanent UN Security Council members agreed in London on Monday to bring Iran before the council over its nuclear programme.