TEHRAN, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Iran's adversaries would collapse from within if they choose to attack the Islamic republic using military force, the country's leading cleric said.
Iran has struck a defiant pose in recent days as a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency said its investigators had evidence Tehran was using technology related to the development of a nuclear weapon.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran doesn't need atomic weapons, however. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that Iranian forces would respond defensively to any outside assault with an iron first.
"The enemies, the United States, its allies and the Zionist (Israel) regime in particular, should take it into consideration that the Iranian nation is not to attack any country or nation but rather is to strongly react to any aggression or threat so that the aggressors and attackers would collapse from inside," he was quoted by the official Islamic Republic News Agency as saying.
He said, while speaking to Iranian military cadets, that Iran's armed forces must become stronger but lamented that relationships in the international community were based on the power of their weapons.
Israel recently raised the prospects of a military strike on Iran. The Israeli military in the past has destroyed nuclear installations in Syria and Iraq.