Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned the U.S. that any attack on the Islamic Republic would prompt retaliation.

“The enemies know any aggression will give way to a wide reaction from Iranian people toward them and their interests in all parts of the world.”  Khamenei, was referring to the U.S., speaking at a ceremony that was part of celebrations of the Islamic Republic’s 28th anniversary.

Iran continues to push forward with their nuclear progam, which the U.S. says is a cover for the development of nuclear weapons.  The Iranian government has defied the United Nations Security Council deadline of August 31 to halt its uranium enriched activities. The Security Council voted on Dec. 23 to impose sanctions on the country and gave a two-month deadline for sensitive nuclear work to be frozen.

Iran says it won’t abide because, as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it is entitled to have a civilian nuclear program. The atomic program is designed to fuel power stations, the government in Tehran says.

SSN4 Missile

The SSN4 missile is capable of destroying large warships and its range would allow it to cover the Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and parts of the northern Indian Ocean, IRNA cited Fadavi as saying on the second day of a major military exercise.

“When it comes to things like these tests, we watch them closely,” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters in Seville, Spain, today after a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense ministers. “We have no intention of acting in Iran. The president said that, the secretary of State said that. I’ve said that.”

Officials and state television have been encouraging Iranians to join rallies scheduled for Feb. 11 to mark the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979, following the overthrow of the ruling monarchy.

Feb. 11 will be a day of “worry and anger” for the U.S., U.K. and Israeli intelligence services, Khamenei said. The people’s presence in the streets in support of the Islamic Republic will leave enemies “enraged and desperate,” he added.

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former Iranian president, said today that any military attacks on Iran would be very costly for the U.S., IRNA reported. Given the difficulties facing the U.S. in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, an attack on Iran wouldn’t be easy, IRNA cited Rafsanjani, who is chairman of the influential Expediency Council, as saying.

The continued nuclear attacks from Iran is escalating.  The concern amongst many is that this will end in war and that Israel will be the target.

The land-to-sea missile test was part of military maneuvers by Iran — the second this year — being held in response to the naval build-up by the United States in the Persian Gulf. President Bush has dispatched two aircraft carriers to the region. It is the largest naval build-up in the Persian Gulf since the beginning of the war with Iraq.

A special envoy of Mr. Khamenei’s met today with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Security Council Chief Igor Ivanov in Moscow.

Crossposted from The HILL Chronicles

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