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7 January 2012 - 13:58

A senior Iranian lawmaker says that Tehran will respond to any threat posed by the US military presence in the Persian Gulf, stressing that Iran's military strategy is one of defense.

“Should the United States maintain its presence in Iran's waterways as before with its rhetoric of threat, the Islamic Republic will act accordingly,” said Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, chairman of Iran's Majlis Foreign Relations Committee in a Friday interview.

Despite the US claims of abiding by international law, Washington stands accused of violating the rights of regional nations over the past decade through its presence in the strategic waters of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf in particular.

“The Islamic Republic has never been at the forefront of a war and military confrontation, and the language of our military forces is not the language of threat, rather, it is that of defense,” Falahatpisheh added.

He also argued that Iran is different from other countries targeted by US military aggression, as the Islamic Republic enjoys a strategic depth which makes invaders incapable of managing the war developments.

Falahatpisheh made reference to the various military drills by Iranian forces, noting that the maneuvers are held in response to the US rhetoric of threat.

The military maneuvers Iran has been conducting after the imposed Iran-Iraq War are entirely proportionate to the occasional threats posed by the enemies, he pointed out.

In the latest round of such drills, the Iranian Navy launched the Velayat 90 naval maneuver, which lasted from December 24, 2011 to January 2, 2012, near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The naval exercises took place in line with a recent directive by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, instructing Iranian Armed Forces to maintain total readiness to defend the nation against any potential threats.

Washington and Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the "option" of a military strike, based on the allegation that Iran's nuclear work may consist of a covert military aspect.

Last week, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said the US military is ready to launch a military strike against Iran, if occasion necessitates.

Dempsey's warmongering tirades came on the heels of equally aggressive remarks by US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta who said "no options were off the table" regarding Iran's nuclear program.

Tehran has categorically refuted the Western allegations, saying that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has the right to acquire and develop atomic technology for peaceful purposes.
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