Iran's Khamenei: Israel risks 'lightning' reply

03/06/2012 11:38


By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press 

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's Supreme Leader says any Israeli attack would be answered by a "lightning" strike by the Islamic Republic.

The remarks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei come as Iran engages in intense talks with the U.S. and five other world powers over its nuclear program. Israeli officials have said they leave all options open to try to derail Iran's uranium enrichment.

The West fears Iran could one day produce weapons-grade material. Iran says it only seeks reactors for energy and medical research.

In a speech Sunday, Khamenei says any "wrong step" by Israelis would come back on them like "lightning."

Khamenei was speaking on the 23rd anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.