ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, (AP) – The Iranian president said Monday Iran will retaliate if the U.S. strikes the country militarily.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also said Iran had agreed for the benefit of the Iraqi people to meet with the U.S. in Baghdad to discuss security in Iraq.
“They (the U.S.) cannot strike Iran,” he said at a press conference during a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates. “The Iranian people can protect themselves and retaliate.”
The Iranian president’s comments followed those by Vice President Dick Cheney, who said on Friday from the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf that the U.S. and its allies would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and dominating the region.
Despite the tense words, the U.S. and Iran announced Sunday that they have agreed to meet in Baghdad to discuss security and stability in Iraq.
“Both parties have confirmed the talks will take place in Baghdad in the presence of the Iraqi government,” Ahmadinejad said Monday. “We decided we were ready and prepared to do this to support the Iraqi people.”