AFP: Washington shrugged off Tuesday Iran's threat to "set fire" to Israel and the US navy in the Gulf as its first response to any American attack over the Islamic republic's nuclear program.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Washington shrugged off Tuesday Iran's threat to "set fire" to Israel and the US navy in the Gulf as its first response to any American attack over the Islamic republic's nuclear program.
"Comments like that are not out of the norm and not unusual," State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said, pointing out that the United States wanted to resolve the nuclear issue diplomatically.
"We continue to stress our desire to resolve this issue diplomatically… continue with the process," he told reporters.
An aide to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned on Tuesday that "the first US shot on Iran would set the United States' vital interests in the world on fire."
Ali Shirazi, a mid-ranking cleric who is Khamenei's representative to the naval forces of the elite Revolutionary Guards, said that "Tel Aviv and the US fleet in the Persian Gulf would be the targets that would be set on fire in Iran's crushing response," according to the Fars news agency.
The United States and its top regional ally Israel have never ruled out attacking Iran over its nuclear drive, which the West fears could be aimed at making nuclear weapons.
There has been concern an attack against Iran could be imminent after it emerged Israel had carried out maneuvers in Greece that were effectively practice runs for a potential strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.
Iran meanwhile has responded to an offer from world powers to end the nuclear crisis and diplomats are analyzing what is said to be a complex answer from Tehran.
The offer from world powers proposes that Iran suspend uranium enrichment — the process which they fear could be used to make a nuclear weapon — in exchange for technological incentives.