Iran Sunday accused the United States of waging a "psychological war" against its nuclear program after a published report described Pentagon planning for possible military strikes against Iranian atomic facilities.
A report by influential investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker magazine, citing unnamed current and former officials, said Washington has stepped up plans for possible attacks on Iranian facilities to curb its atomic work.
The article said the United States was considering using tactical nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's underground uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz, south of Teheran.
"This is a psychological war launched by Americans because they feel angry and desperate regarding Iran's nuclear dossier," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a weekly news conference.
"We will stand by our right to nuclear technology. It is our red line. We are ready to deal with any possible scenario. Iran is not afraid of threatening language," he added.
The United Nations has called on Iran to halt uranium enrichment, which the West believes Iran is pursuing to acquire technology to make a nuclear bomb. Iran has rejected the demand and insists it only wants to make fuel for civilian uses.
Iran's decision in January to resume enrichment prompted Britain, France and Germany to break off two and a half years of EU talks with Teheran and back a US demand to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, which can impose sanctions.
Asefi said Iran was ready to continue its co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and said IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei would visit Iran by Friday to discuss Iran's co-operation with the IAEA.
(China Daily April 10, 2006)