| Advertisement |
Tehran, Jan. 19 (AP): President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed back over the US military buildup in the Gulf, saying that Iran is ready for any possibility in its standoff with the West over its nuclear programme.
The US deployment of a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf appeared to have alarmed some in Iran's hard-line leadership. A prominent member of a powerful cleric-run body warned yesterday that the United States plans to attack Iran in the coming months, possibly by striking its nuclear facilities.
Washington has accused Iran of backing militants fueling Iraq's violence and has tried to rally its Arab allies in isolating Tehran. The Iraq crisis has increased tensions between the US and Iran amid the yearslong dispute over Iran's nuclear programme, which Washington says aims to produce nuclear weapons.
The United States this week sent an aircraft carrier, the USS Stennis, to the Gulf -- the second one to deploy in the region -- in a buildup that Defence Secretary Robert Gates aimed to impress on Iran that the four-year war in Iraq has not made America vulnerable.
In an apparent reaction to the deployment, Ahmadinejad yesterday vowed that Iran would not back down in its nuclear programme, which it says is peaceful, aiming only to produce energy.
"Today, with the grace of God, we have gone through the arduous passes and we are ready for anything in this path," state-run television quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.