Hundreds of Iranian students on Tuesday formed a human chain around one of the Islamic republic’s nuclear sites, vowing to strongly respond to any strike by arch-foe Israel, Fars news agency reported.
“We are promising the leaders of world arrogance (the West) that even if one bullet is fired towards Iran we will demolish Tel Aviv in three days,” Fars quoted a student leader as saying in a speech at the Isfahan uranium conversion facility.
Chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” the students carried a Wild West-styled wanted poster depicting U.S. President Barack Obama’s as a fugitive from law.
The demonstration comes about a week after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported “credible” evidence that Iran had worked towards nuclear weapons.
Iran criticized the Vienna-based atomic watchdog for giving up its “earlier objectivity” in the report, which it rejected as “baseless” and hewing to Israeli and U.S. intelligence.
Tuesday’s student gathering, which is not the first of its kind in the past decade of Iran’s stand-off with the West over its controversial nuclear drive, comes amid speculation of an Israeli military strike.
The rumors were further stoked by a news report saying that Israel’s foreign intelligence service Mossad was behind a deadly munitions blast in Iran last weekend.
In an interview published Sunday in Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said he sees no more room for compromise in the battle over Tehran’s contested nuclear program.
At the same time, Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani warned Tehran must review its cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog due to the hostile nature of the report.
Subject to four sets of U.N. sanctions and several Western sanctions over its enrichment program, Iran has so far refused to freeze its uranium enrichment activities.
Washington and its Western partners want the IAEA board to approve a “clear resolution” condemning Iran at a scheduled meeting on Thursday and Friday. This could even go as far as to referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council.
Could help Turkey
Meanwhile, a senior Iranian official said on Tuesday that Tehran was willing to share its controversial nuclear technology with neighboring countries, suggesting it could help Turkey build a nuclear power plant.
Referring to Iran’s nuclear technology, the official, Mohammad Javad Larijani, said, “We are quite ready to share it with our neighboring countries.”
“Turkey is for years trying to have a nuclear power plant but no country in the West is willing to build that for them,” Larijani told reporters.
“We are ready to cooperate with (other countries in the Middle East) in this regard, within the NPT.” He was referring to the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which aims to prevent the spread of atomic weapons technology.
Turkey has ambitious plans to build up a civil nuclear production capability.
Larijani is head of the Iranian High Council for Human Rights, an adviser to Iran’s chief justice, and head of a mathematics and physics institute. He is also the brother of Ali Larijani.