Amid Talks of Attack

Iran Official: Israeli Threats of Imminent Strike Are Mere 'Psychological Warfare'

Speaking to semi-official Mehr news agency, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi says Israel's 'warmongering remarks' may bring the destruction of its 'war machine.'

Iran's defense minister is dismissing Israeli threats against his country as psychological warfare.

The semi-official Mehr news agency on Tuesday quoted Gen. Ahmad Vahidi as saying Israeli leaders are resorting to "psychological war" against Iran.

Israel has not ruled out a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. The West suspects Iran is aiming at producing nuclear weapons. Iran denies that.

Gen. Vahidi warned that Israel is moving toward destruction of its "war machine" through its "warmongering" remarks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called Iran his country's most dangerous threat, as the debate in Israel over whether to attack Iran gains strength.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmhmanparast told reporters Tuesday that Iran would not relate seriously to "baseless" remarks.

On Monday, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren stressed in an interview to MSNBC that the Israeli clock on military action on Iran's nuclear program "is ticking faster."

Ambassador Oren said Israel appreciated Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's reiteration that the U.S. is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but mentioned the "structural differences between the United States and Israel which we can't ignore."

"The United States is a big country with very large capabilities located far from the Middle East," Oren said. "Israel is a small country with certain capabilities located in Iran's backyard. And Israel, not the United States, is threatened almost weekly, if not daily, with annihilation by Iranian leaders.

"We've now had five months of diplomacy," Oren continued, adding that the attempts to get Iran to negotiate an end to its nuclear program "haven't worked."

"We still believe that truly crippling sanctions together with a credible military threat - and that I stress, that's a threat; not that we just say that it's credible, the folks in Tehran have to believe us when we say that - may still deter them. But we also have to be prepared, as President Obama has said, to keep all options on the table, including a military option," Oren said.