Iran vows to put Israel into 'eternal coma' if attacked

Agencies

Haaretz

Tevet 26, 5766

Were Israel to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, Iran would respond so strongly that it would put the Jewish state into "an eternal coma" like Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's, the Iranian defense minister said yesterday.

Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has said his country would not accept Iran's acquiring nuclear weapons under any circumstances. He stopped short of threatening a military strike against Iran, but he said Israel was preparing for the possible failure of diplomatic negotiations with Iran.

A newscaster on Iranian state television read out a response from Iran's minister of defense, Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, yesterday.

"Zionists should know that if they do anything evil against Iran, the response of Iran's armed forces will be so firm that it will send them into eternal coma, like Sharon," Najjar said.

Meanwhile, a senior German security official proposed yesterday temporarily pulling the passports of neo-Nazis intending to participate in an Iranian conference on the Holocaust.

Guenther Beckstein, the interior minister of Bavaria, suggested that local authorities temporarily revoke the passports of right-wing extremists known to have expressed interest in participating in the conference in an effort to prevent them from traveling.

"It would massively damage Germany's image if German citizens (took part) in Iran to deny the Holocaust or the right of Israel to exist," said Beckstein, a member of the conservative Christian Social Union, sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the conference earlier this month, the latest step in his campaign against Israel.