By David Rosenberg

Tehran, Iran

In response to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's warning last week that Iran's growing military nuclear and ballistic ambitions may lead to preventive military attack, Iran on Thursday told United Nations that it would not hesitate from hitting back, if it faces any strike by a foreign country on its territory.

In a letter to the U.N. leaders, Iran's U.N. ambassador said that Tehran would respond in self-defense in the event of any attack. "Iran would take appropriate defensive measures to protect itself," ambassador Mohammad Khazaee told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council. The envoy added that Sarkozy's remarks were "inflammatory" and the allegations were "baseless".

"The Islamic Republic of Iran expresses its deep concern over, and strong condemnation of such a provocative, unwarranted and irresponsible statement against Iran," Khazaee said.

The West has repeatedly expressed concern over Iran's growing nuclear military ambitions, but the French president has been one of the most outspoken critics.

Sarkozy's August 31 speech did not clarify which nation might launch a 'preventive attack' on Iran, but vowed to work with international allies to impose tough sanction on the Islamic Republic. Iran is already facing four round of U.N. sanction over its nuclear enrichment program.

Iranian Foreign Ministry's head of Western Europe affairs Hasan Tajik also called on Sarkozy not to make such unrealistic comments. He insisted that Iran's nuclear activity is completely peaceful, adding that the International Atomic Energy Agency has also confirmed this.

"Iran's defense activities are all deterrent. Remarks based on unrealistic information could act as a basis for regional instability, and it is recommended that by heeding to reality one should refrain from making such remarks," Iranian television quoted Hasan Tajik as saying.


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World - Iran Vows Retaliation in Case of Any 'Preventive Attack' | Global Viewpoint