Iran's speaker calls possible Israeli attack "grave mistake"
Iran's Majlis (Parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani said on Saturday a possible Israeli attack against the Islamic Republic would be a "grave mistake," the official IRNA news agency reported.
"If they make such a grave mistake, they will pay a high price for it," Larijani was quoted as saying on the sidelines of the commemoration ceremony for late martyr Mostafa Chamran.
In his reaction to a report on a possible Israeli attack against Iran's nuclear installations, Larijani said "We are ready to face any situation."
The New York Times reported Friday that U.S. military believed a major military exercise by Israel earlier this month was a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran's nuclear sites.
Some American officials said the Israeli exercise appeared to be an effort to develop the military's capacity to carry out long-range strikes and to demonstrate the seriousness with which Israel views Iran's nuclear program.
More than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighter jets participated in the maneuvers, which were carried out over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece during the first week of June, U.S. officials said.
The exercise also involved Israeli helicopters that could be used to rescue downed pilots. The helicopters and refueling tankers flew more than 900 miles ( 1,450 km), which is about the same distance between Israel and Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, American officials said.
A spokesman for the Israeli military said Israel's air force "regularly trains for various missions in order to confront and meet the challenges posed by the threats facing Israel," declining to discuss details of the exercise.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who visited Washington in early June, said "the Iranian threat must be stopped by all possible means," indicating that military resort can not be excluded.
His remarks about Iran's nuclear threat are believed to be the strongest ever the Israeli leader has made on the issue.