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Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 13:39 UK

Iran leader warns against attack

Iranian soldiers on parade
The military parade is held every year

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned that it would retaliate against any possible military strike.

Speaking at a military parade in Tehran commemorating the start of the Iraq-Iran war, he said Iran would "cut the hand of anyone" who dared to attack it.

The comments come a day after Israel said it had not ruled out any options regarding Iran's nuclear programme.

The parade was marred by reports that a plane taking part the ceremonies had crashed south of Tehran, killing seven.

The crash was reported on state radio and state television showed video footage of burning wreckage from the plane surrounded by fire trucks, according to AFP news agency.

There was no information on the possible cause of the crash.

Iranian aircraft - both civilian and military - have been plagued by lethal accidents.

In July at least 180 people died in two incidents involving commercial aircraft.

The air force show had included US-made planes acquired before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, as well as Russian and domestically-built aircraft.

Mr Ahmadinejad's repeated his criticism of the presence of foreign forces in the region and praised the strength of Iran's armed forces.

Nuclear issue

"No power will think of launching aggression against Iran. Today Iran is experienced and powerful," he said.

Mr Ahmadinejad will attend the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday where he is expected to come under heavy pressure over Iran's nuclear programme.

Tehran says its nuclear development is for civilian purposes and denies it is seeking to build nuclear weapons.

Six world powers are to hold talks with Iran on 1 October that are expected to cover global nuclear disarmament.

Mr Ahmadinejad is also facing ongoing domestic pressure following June's disputed presidential election.

Opposition supporters clashed with security forces again on 18 September during a government-sponsored pro-Palestinian march in Tehran.



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