March 20th, 2012
01:12 PM ET

Iran, U.S. mark Iranian new year with blistering words

Iran and the United States rang in the Persian new year Tuesday with distinctly different messages for the Iranian people.

President Barack Obama slammed the Islamic Republic's crackdown on electronic communications and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that Iran would not hesitate to strike back in the event of an attack on the Islamic republic.

The beginning of the year 1391 took Khamenei to the massive Imam Reza shrine complex in the eastern city of Mashhad, where thousands jammed the mosque to hear the nation's supreme leader.

Khamenei denied Iran has nuclear capability or that it is trying to develop atomic weapons. But he warned that Iran will defend itself if the United States or Israel attacks - words that only increase anxiety in Iran's nuclear showdown with world powers.


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Filed under: Iran • World