Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today declared that he believed the United States and other Western nations were behind this month’s leaked IAEA report by new chief Amano Yukiya, and expressed concern that the IAEA may be lacking in independence.
The report provided no new evidence or details, but made a vague references about Amano having “concerns about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed activities,” sparking a flurry of new Western calls for sanctions and Israeli calls for military action.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in the United States to drum up more support for ill-defined “action” against Iran, used the upcoming Academy Awards to “cleverly” note that Iran is “not developing Avatar longbows,” then accused them of clearly developing nuclear missiles.
Iran, for its part, seems to be taking the recent threats of attack very seriously, and Revolutionary Guards commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami warned that Iran was prepared to block the Strait of Hormuz in the event of war, effectively cutting off energy supplies to the West. A key member of Iranian Parliament Hossein Sobnaninia urged Russia to hasten the delivery of the S-300 anti-air missile defense system, seen as Iran’s best hope of holding off an Israeli air strike.
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