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'Iran's supreme leader forbids nukes'

AP | September 23 2006

Iran's supreme leader has prohibited any use of nuclear weapons by his country, Iranian First Vice President Parziv Davoudi said Friday.

Davoudi, one of 10 vice presidents in Iran, also warned that his government would retaliate against any military action against it.

"Any aggressor should purge the idea of invading Iran from its mind because our armed forces are serious and powerful enough to counterattack," Davoudi said at a military parade in Teheran.

The remarks were likely directed toward the United States, which is mired in a showdown with the Islamic state over its nuclear ambitions. Teheran claims its nuclear program is geared only to generate electricity, but the US says Iran aims to produce nuclear weapons.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials have said that under the Islamic thought, nuclear weapons are illegitimate.

Davoudi said the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had stirred "insecurity and terrorism" throughout the world.

He spoke at a military parade marking the 26th anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war. The procession included a display of Iranian missiles, including the Shahab-3, which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

An upgraded version of the ballistic missile has a range of more than 2,000 kilometers - capable of reaching Israel and US forces in the Middle East.

The weapon's name means "shooting star" in Farsi.

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