Top Iran Official: All Options on the Table if Nuclear Facilities Attacked

In interview to CNN, top advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei plays down Ahmadinejad's remark on wiping Israel 'off the map,' saying the Iranian President did not mean it in a military sense.

All options are on the table in regards to an Iranian response to a possible attack on its nuclear facilities, a top advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in a interview published on Thursday, adding that Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not want to "wipe Israel off the map" in a military sense.

Speaking to CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Mohammad Javad Larijani indicated that Iran does not exclude the possibility of blocking the Strait of Hormuz in response to an attack, nor would it exclude a missile strike on Israel.

Iran army - AP - 2.1.2012

"Here I want to copy the wording of [U.S.] President [Barack] Obama," Larijani said, adding: "Every possibility is on the table."

The top Iranian official also referred to the recently cited comment by Ahmadinejad, in which he stated Israel must be "wiped off the map," saying that the remark was "definitely not" meant in a military sense and that such a move was not "a policy of Iran."

Larijani criticized the West for what he said were sanctions "beyond being unfair," adding that they could not stop Iran's nuclear progress. "Does it stop Iran's capability for developing its nuclear facilities for peaceful means?" the Iranian official asked. "Definitely not. So it is a failure."

In his interview to CNN, Larijani also referred to the attempts to restart nuclear talks between Iran and the West concerning the country's contentious nuclear program, offering to be more transparent regarding Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for what he called "cooperation" from western states.

"If the western community is asking us for more transparency, then we should expect more cooperation," Khamenei's adviser said, adding that the "equation is simple. The Western community can ask us for more transparency. What we want in place of that is cooperation."

Speaking of the Parchin military base near Tehran, which diplomatic sources indicated could be the site of suspicious nuclear tests, Larijani said that the "Parchin issue is a recurring issue."

"Once it has been discussed, a lot of evidence was given to the agency, but still with the new request Iran did not reject it," the Iranian official said. "Iran asked elucidation on what basis, what kind of test they want to do, where they want to look and what will be the end result."

Ultimately, Iran is willing to allow "full transparency" of its nuclear program with "permanent human monitoring," he said, conditioning such a move on the West allowing Iran all the rights accorded to it under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which it is signatory.