U.S. bluffing on military option, Iran says

Feb. 12, 2014 at 9:35 AM
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TEHRAN, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The United States is "bluffing" when it says it's keeping a military option on the table in regard to Iran, Iran's military chief said Wednesday.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry each said on separate occasions last month the military option was still on the table should Iran renege on the terms of an interim nuclear agreement reached in November.

Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, chief of staff for the Iranian armed forces, said his military is ready for a "decisive battle" should the time come.

"These words that they utter [about war with Iran] now are just political bluffing," he told the semiofficial Fars News Agency.

He said if Iran's interests in the region were threatened, it reserved the right to act in self-defense.

"We do not feel any hostility for any of the regional states, but if we are targeted from the U.S. bases in the region, we will hit those bases," he said.

The Iranian government said the test launch of two missiles this week was a response to bellicose rhetoric from the United States.

Iranians this week are marking the 35th anniversary of their Islamic revolution.

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