AFP: Iran warned Thursday that it would respond immediately to any military strike after a roadworks blast near a nuclear site sparked fears of an attack, the state news agency IRNA reported Thursday.
"An attack, whatever it is, against any site, whether it be nuclear or not, would produce a very rapid response," Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani said. AFP

TEHRAN - Iran warned Thursday that it would respond immediately to any military strike after a roadworks blast near a nuclear site sparked fears of an attack, the state news agency IRNA reported Thursday.

"An attack, whatever it is, against any site, whether it be nuclear or not, would produce a very rapid response," Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani said.

"The Iranian nation would not yet have even been informed of an attack against a site, nuclear or not, before learning of our decisive reaction."

A big explosion near Iran's Gulf port of Daylam on Wednesday raised speculation of military activity when local Arabic-language television said witnesses reported seeing a missile being fired from an unidentified plane.

But a senior security official insisted there was no hostile strike, just major earthworks in an largely uninhabited area in the south of the country.

The blast was located near Daylam, about 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Bushehr, where a controversial nuclear power plant is being built with Russian help.

"Nothing happened in the region" of Bushehr, insisted Shamkhani, accusing the media of exaggeration.

Iranian officials have charged that the reports carried by the foreign media were part of a "psychological war being waged by the United States against Iran".

The administration of US President George W. Bush has warned of possible military action over Iran's nuclear activities, charging that its efforts to develop nuclear fuel are a cover for an atomic weapons programme.

US media reports have said the United States has been flying drones over Iran since April 2004, seeking evidence of nuclear weapons work and probing for weaknesses in Iran's air defences.

Intelligence Minister Ali Younessi confirmed the presence of "American spying instruments" in the skies over Iran and warned that they would be targeted by the military.