Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29
By Umid Niayesh, Saeed Isayev - Trend:
The United States` officials are aware of Iran's military power, the country's defense minister Hossein Dehghan said, Iran's Fars news agency reported on Jan. 29.
Dehghan`s words came in response to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who said on Jan. 23 that "military option" on Iran is still on the table, if the Islamic Republic continues to enrich uranium beyond the permitted levels.
Dehghan went on to say that these statements are political bluff, adding that "such thoughtless statements would harm the diplomatic efforts".
On Jan. 20, the United States and the European Union suspended part of the sanctions against Iran after the IAEA confirmed earlier in the day that Iran had halted 20-percent uranium enrichment under the Geneva agreement.
On Jan. 12, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, China, France, Britain, and the U.S. - plus Germany agreed on Jan. 20 as the date to start implementing the interim nuclear deal that the two sides struck in Geneva on November 24, 2013.
The U.S. officials know that they can not afford any military operation against Iran, the minister added.
"Iran doesn't welcome war and conflicts, but the country will give a serious response to any such action by warmongers," he noted.
Iranian Defence Minister further said that "such statements will increase Iranian and region people's hate for the U.S."
The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon - something that Iran denies.
The Islamic Republic has on numerous occasions stated that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons, using nuclear energy for medical research instead.