TEHRAN Feb 28 Iran could make European
countries suffer by cutting off energy supplies and can target
any adversary with its missiles, a senior Iranian military
official said on Sunday.
Iran is locked in dispute with the United States and its
allies over its nuclear energy programme which Western countries
fear is aimed at allowing Iran the chance to develop nuclear
weapons. Tehran says it is only interested in electricity.
The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) governing
board meets in Vienna next week to discuss Iran while world
powers are deliberating new sanctions on Iran at the level of
the U.N. Security Council.
Iran is one of the world's biggest oil and gas exporters but
its economy is suffering amid the global financial crisis and
international ostracism over the nuclear dispute.
"Iran is standing on 50 percent of the world's energy and
should it so decide Europe will have to spend the winter in
cold," Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the elite
Revolutionary Guards, said in a meeting with war veterans and
volunteers in Kerman, according to Fars news agency.
"Our missiles are now able to target any spot in which the
conspirators are in, and the country is making advances in all
fields," he said.
Iran has tested a number of missiles in recent years that
could be used in any war with its arch enemy Israel. Analysts
say Israel could try a military strike on Iran's nuclear
Some European countries have faced difficulties from
reliance on gas supplies from Russia, but Iran has struggled to
find the cash and technology to develop its energy sector as
sanctions and political pressure have kept foreign firms away.
Israel lobbied Washington last week for sanctions against
Iran, which imports 40 percent of its gasoline from foreign
(Reporting by Hashem Kalantari; Writing by Andrew Hammond;
Editing by Angus MacSwan)