United Press International: Maj. Gen. Rahim Safawi, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, said Monday his country is ready to confront U.S. pressure, including military.
In an interview with the London-based Saudi daily al-Hayat, monitored in Beirut, Safawi said although the United States is deeply involved in Iraq, it is expected to increase its political and diplomatic pressure on Iran in the next two months. United Press International

Beirut, Lebanon - Maj. Gen. Rahim Safawi, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, said Monday his country is ready to confront U.S. pressure, including military.

In an interview with the London-based Saudi daily al-Hayat, monitored in Beirut, Safawi said although the United States is deeply involved in Iraq, it is expected to increase its political and diplomatic pressure on Iran in the next two months.

"We advise the Americans and the Europeans to beware of Iran regional weight and capacity and to recognize its rights and importance in the region," Safawi said.

"We are ready to confront any pressures against us, be they political, economic and even military."

He said the U.S. military presence in Iraq has destabilized the entire Middle East.

"The security of the Middle East should be achieved by the countries of the region ... The only way out of this is for the U.S. occupation forces to withdraw from Iraq and the whole region," Safawi added.

He reiterated his country's right to possess nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, saying, "Iran will not acquire this technology for military purposes."