Iranian missiles neither threat nor fake, says Ayatollah

Iran Materials 11 July 2008 15:47 (UTC +04:00)

A senior Iranian Ayatollah said Friday that the missiles' tests in Iran have neither been a threat to any country nor fake, reported dpa.

"There have been several comments about our missiles' tests, especially by the United States, and all of them are wrong," said Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani at the Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran.

Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guards test-fired during the last three days several medium- and long-range missiles, including the Shahab-3 missile which is said to have a range of 2000 kilometres and therefore capable of reaching any part of the territory of Iran's arch-enemy Israel.

There have been reports that the tests were a threat against Israel and US warships in the Persian Gulf and also other reports that the revolutionary guards had exaggerated Iran's missile capabilities.

"Unlike you (the US and Israel), we are having our military manoeuvres inside our own territory, and this is an internationally acknowledged and legitimate move," said the Ayatollah who is close to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"Furthermore, the Islamic Republic has in the last three decades not violated any country but in return was violated with US support," he added.

Emami-Kashani was referring to the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war where the US supported the regime of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the 1998 conflict with the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan which almost led to another regional war.

"We have a clear (territorial) framework but where is your framework? We have no history in invading other countries but what is your (US and Israel) history? Invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine," the Ayatollah said.

"Whether these missiles have a range of 2,000 or 3,000 or 5,000 kilometres (or not), we do not intend to violate any country," he added, referring to reports about having manipulated the pictures of the missiles' launching.

"We just say if you hit us, we are capable to hit back and that is quite legitimate," the leaders' aide warned.

The Ayatollah further said that all the US uproar over the missile tests was meant only to please Israel although the whole world is aware that Iran is just following Islam and the holy Islamic book Koran and therefore obliged not to harm anybody, whether Muslims or non-Muslims.