As the international community reportedly worked on a new diplomatic drive to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program, Iran’s supreme leader said Friday the readiness of the country’s military is such that it will dispel any “thoughts of invasion” by enemies.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted by state TV as saying that Iran would never “give in” to foreign attacks or any “act of aggression.” The remarks came during Khamenei’s visit to an army base in the country’s northeast.
Khamenei said Iran’s readiness has weakened warmongering among the country’s enemies and limited an appetite for attacking Iran.
Britain’s Guardian reported Friday that the so-called P5+1, a grouping comprised of the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China, plans to launch a new diplomatic drive to defuse the Iranian nuclear crisis in the next several months, after the US elections.
According to the report, a “reformulated” proposal will offer the Islamic Republic some relief from crippling economic sanctions in exchange for Iran’s limiting the level of uranium enrichment.
“We recognize that the Iranians need something more with which they can sell a deal at home, and we will expect real change on the other side,” said one European official regarding the new diplomatic initiative.
“If Iran is prepared to do enough, sanctions will be on the table,” said another Western diplomat, who added, “Sanctions are biting in Tehran and we’re not going to lift them without making solid progress on our concerns.”
Officials involved in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program believe there’s a window of opportunity for diplomacy between the US elections on November 6 and next spring. Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he did not discount the possibility of an Israeli or American attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities before spring 2013, “if [Tehran] continues at the current rate” of enrichment.
Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran to be an existential threat, and despite the Islamic Republic’s repeated denials, Western powers suspect that Iran is pursuing a nuclear-weapons program.