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      Iran: Israel Bluffing, a Strike would be 'Suicidal'

      Iranian "Supreme Leader," defense minister and parliament speaker say Israel is just engaging in psychological warfare.
      By Gil Ronen and Reuters
      First Publish: 8/6/2012, 2:16 AM

      Bluffing? Netanyahu
      Bluffing? Netanyahu
      Reuters

      Three Iranian leaders were quoted Sunday as saying that Israel's plans to attack their country are no more than psychological warfare.

      Defense Minister Gen. Ahmed Wahidi told local reporters that Israel's reported plans to attack are an impossible dream.

      "The Zionist regime knows full well that the idea of attacking in Iran is an unattainable dream that will never come true," he said, "unless the regime wants to commit suicide."

      Official news outlets quoted Wahidi as saying that Israeli talk of attacking Iran is part of "the psychological warfare" Israel is carrying out in order to "break its isolation." In any case, he said, Iran's military is on high alert and prepared to strike back at any attack.

      Iran's top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted Sunday as saying that the current confrontation is a fight between good and evil.

      He reportedly made the remarks in a meeting with a group of professors of Persian literature and language, as well as a number of young poets.

      Khamenei said "the hegemonic powers are confronting the Iranian nation with all their propaganda might and political apparatus, and using their malevolence."

      "However," he added, "the Iranian nation has resisted all their moves successfully."

      Ayatollah Khamenei said the poets and scholars "must not neglect this epic of the Iranian nation" because "no one can maintain passive in face of struggle between good and evil."

      Khamenei was quoted Friday as telling an audience to expect a war "within weeks."

      The official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted Iran's parliamentary spokesman Ali Larijani, too, as saying Israel is bluffing.

      Addressing the morning session of the Iranian parliament on Sunday, Larijani that "although Zionists kept on bluffing in the past few days, their fear is quite apparent from their tone."

      He said that the resignation of United Nations special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan, "together with the ceaseless trend of the US officials’ visits to the region, their contacts with the regional politicians and their military support" – an apparent reference to recent visits to Israel by top U.S. officials – "just prove the failure of international hooligans."

      Larijani also said that "The fire that has been ignited in Syria will take the fearful (Israelis) with it," according to IRNA. "What really allows these countries to interfere in internal Syrian affairs?" Larijani was quoted as saying.

      The similarity in statements by the officials appears to indicate that they have been following a set of "talking points" designed for internal and/or external consumption.