Iran blasts Mofaz remark, warns of 'painful' response if Israel attacks
Iranian news agency quotes Defense Min. slam Mofaz comment that attack to halt nuke program unavoidable.
Iran's defense minister has warned of a "painful response" if Israel attacks it and lambasted Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz's threat of such a strike, the Islamic Republic's official news agency reported Monday.
"If somebody wants to do such a foolish job, the response will be very painful," IRNA quoted Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar as saying.
Najjar was responding to Mofaz's recent statement that an Israeli attack on Iran appeared "unavoidable" if Tehran doesn't abandon its nuclear program.
There has been a new flurry of speculation about possible plans being crafted in secret by Israel and the United States to strike Iran's nuclear program. Both states accuse Iran of covertly seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran insists that its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has distanced himself from Mofaz's suggestion that Israel will attack Iran. Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev on Sunday said the prime minister stated Israel's policy clearly last week during a trip to Washington.
Mofaz said in a newspaper interview on Friday that "if Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective. Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable."