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June 29, 2012 10:01 am

Iran’s Speaker Brushes Aside Threat of U.S. Military Action

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Dr. Ali Larijani, Iran's parliament speaker. Photo: Sebastian Zwez.

The threat of United States military action aimed at confronting Iran’s growing nuclear program are overblown, says Ali Larijani, Iran’s parliament speaker.

“When George W. Bush was the U.S. president, Iran received information through different ways about their [Americans] intention to attack Iran.But did they carry out any attack? Ninty-nine percent of U.S. threats have not been practical,” Larijani said, according to Iran’s Press TV.

Larijani’s statements come in the midst of American and European financial sanctions aimed at getting the Islamic Republic to meet specific demands on the their nuclear program – including shipping all uranium enriched above 5% out of the country and shutting down the Fordo nuclear facility – while American and Israeli officials maintain that a military option remains a last resort.

“No one heeds the U.S. officials’ threats because they make such remarks to undermine countries,” Larijani said.

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The next round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the international community will take place in Istanbul, following meetings in Moscow earlier this month.  On Thursday, an Obama administration official shed light on Washington’s expectations leading into the discussion in Turkey.

“This will be an opportunity to sit down at the expert level and review the various proposals that have been made,” the official said.

“Our position, the United States together with the P5-plus-1, has been that the onus is on the Iranian government to demonstrate a sense of purpose, a seriousness in these discussions and to indicate that they are prepared to take concrete steps to come in line with their international obligations. They have yet to do so. Istanbul is another opportunity for Iran to move in the right direction.”

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