Iran ready to defend nuclear installations
Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi says Tehran is ready to defend its nuclear facilities against any foreign attack, Press TV reported.
"We are ... being continuously threatened with attacks on our nuclear facilities," the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran told delegates from 150 states at the annual General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"Such a vigilant nation, while taking every threat seriously, is in the meantime confident of its capacity to defend itself," he added referring to repeated Israeli threats against Iran's civilian nuclear installations.
The US and some of its western allies accuse Tehran of seeking the wherewithal of producing nuclear weapons.
The Iranian official also accused the United States of amassing nuclear weapons in the region while denying Iran the right to peaceful nuclear technology.
"They have traveled over ten thousand miles away from their native country and have amassed frightening and dreadful weaponry in a region like the Persian Gulf; while, if a country in the same region such as my country wants to exercise its own sovereign right it is shamelessly denied," Salehi added.
In January, the administration of former US president George W. Bush signed a controversial nuclear deal with the United Arab Emirates -- the first of its kind between the US and a Middle Eastern country,
The agreement -- which would bring US atomic know-how to less than a hundred miles (160 km) from Iran's southern shores -- was claimed to be a "powerful and timely" effort against Tehran's uranium enrichment activities.
Following the US-UAE deal, France's Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said in May that her country and Saudi Arabia were also close to strike a civilian nuclear energy cooperation agreement.