Netanyahu illustrates the "red line"
Netanyahu illustrates the "red line"AFP photo

The deputy commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards has declared that Iran has its own red line – “entry into the domain of nuclear weapons is the red line of the defense doctrine and beliefs of the Islamic Republic.” He added, "Our nuclear energy is peaceful."

The Guards’ official media outlet Sepah News reported that the Guards' Deputy Commander Hossein Salami warned, “The greater the pressure, the [more] spirit of resistance and steadfastness will increase. Our nation sees this occurrence as a form of battle and at this stage the nation of Iran has taken the decision to obey and take inspiration from the Supreme Leader. Iran is entirely capable of crossing this circle besieging it."

The “red line” issue cast Prime Minister Netanyahu at odds with President Barack Obama, who refused to be pushed into drawing a red line at which the United States would take military action to stop or at least delay Iran’s nuclear program.

The Obama administration is counting on sanctions to convince Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to halt the program.

Reflecting signs of nervousness over the eroding local currency, spiraling inflation and some food shortages, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said in Dubai, "If sanctions intensify we will stop exporting oil.

"We have prepared a plan to run the country without any oil revenues. So far to date we haven't had any serious problems, but if the sanctions were to be renewed we would go for 'Plan B.’”

Commodities traders do not seem to take the threat seriously.

Oil futures on the world markets dropped by $2 to $88 a barrel on Tuesday. Most economists see Iran as committing economic suicide if it were to sacrifice its revenues from oil exports in order to try to stage an economic retaliation against the United States and other Western countries.

Iran’s oil output reportedly has fallen to 2.7 million barrels a day, but Qasemi claimed the output is 4 million barrels a day.