Iranian FM: If Israel Wanted to Attack, It Would Have Long Ago

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi downplays international sanctions on Iran, protests in Tehran: ‘We can count on the patience of our people.’

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

Israel would have attacked Iran long ago if it could and wished to do so, said Iran's foreign minister in an interview Monday.

“If the Israelis had wanted to attack us, and if they could have done so, they would have done so long ago,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday to the German news weekly Der Spiegel.

During an interview conducted in Frankfurt, the Salehi commented on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent presentation at the United Nations’ General Assembly, calling Netanyahu’s caricature of a bomb “childish,” and “bizarre,” according to the Der Spiegel report.

After denying that his nation’s nuclear program is military in nature, Salehi responded to Der Spiegel’s questions over the effectiveness of international sanctions on the Islamic Republic, calling them “not a big deal.”

“The sanctions create inconveniences. For over 30 years now, we have been living with boycott measures that ultimately make us independent and strong,” Salehi told Der Spiegel.

Recent reports have documented the sharp decline of the Iranian rial against the United States dollar and protests in Tehran, to which Salehi responded, “Iranian society is used to living with hardships... We can count on the patience of our people.”

Der Spiegel also questioned Salehi on the situation in Syria. Salehi stated that Syrian President Bashar Assad “poses no threat to the region, or to world peace, for that matter,” and placed the blame for some 30,000 casualties in Syria on rebel forces, as well as Assad’s regime.

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi speaking during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey. Thursday, Jan. 19. 2012. Credit: AP
Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Akbar Salehi smiles during a meeting with his Tunisian counterpart Rafik Abdessalem in Tunis April 23, 2012.Credit: Reuters



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott