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Iran Says It Would Retaliate If Attacked

6 February 2005 -- Iran's chief nuclear negotiator says Tehran would both retaliate and accelerate its drive to master nuclear technology if the United States or Israel attacked its atomic facilities.

Hassan Rohani, secretary-general of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said today in an interview with Reuters that Iran's ability to produce its own nuclear parts had made it "invulnerable" to attack. He said Iran could simply rebuild whatever was destroyed.

Rohani also said there was nothing the West could offer Tehran that would persuade it to scrap a nuclear program which Washington fears may be used to make bombs. Iran has denied it is seeking to produce nuclear weapons.

U.S. President George W. Bush has refused to rule out military strikes against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on 4 February a U.S. attack was "not on the agenda."