A gathering of Iranians who claim the are dedicated to becoming suicide bombers warned the United States and Britain today of attacks on coalition military bases in Iraq if there were a strike against Tehran’s nuclear facilities.
“With more than 1,000 trained martyrdom-seekers, we are ready to attack the American and British sensitive points if they attack Iran’s nuclear facilities,” said Mohammad Ali Samadi, spokesman of Esteshadion (Martyrdom Seekers).
“We have registered more than 52,000 people who willingly are ready to defend their country.”
“If they strike, we have a lot of volunteers. Their (US and British) sensitive places are quiet close to Iranian borders,” Samadi said after a gathering of about 200 students for a seminar on the suicide-bombing tactics at Tehran’s Khajeh Nasir University.
Samadi reviewed the history of the suicide bombing as a weapon, praising it as the most effective Palestinian tactic in their confrontation with Israel.
The organisers also showed video clips of suicide attacks against Israelis, including one in the Morag settlement near Rafah in Gaza strip in February 2005. One settler, three Israeli soldiers and the two attackers were killed in the attack.
Hasan Abbasi, the main speaker also praised suicide-bombers, but denounced attacks against “innocent people as al-Qaida did in New York".
Abbasi told the audience of potential martyrs that Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons as claimed by the United States and some of its allies.
“Our martyrdom-seekers are our nuclear weapons,” said Abbasi, a university instructor and former member of the elite Revolutionary Guards.
After his speech, about 50 students filled out membership applications .
“This is a unique opportunity for me to die for God, next to my brothers in Palestine. That was why I signed up,” said Reza Haghshenas, 22, an electrical engineering student.
A 23-year-old woman student, Maryam Amereh, said: “We are trying to defend Islam. It’s a way to draw the attention of others to our activities.”
But Rahim Hasanlu, a 22-year-old industrial management student, sipped his orange juice and declared himself not interested in joining. “I just attended to learn what they’re saying, that’s all.”
Esteshadion was formed in late 2004, calling for members on a sporadic basis at Friday prayer ceremonies, state-sponsored rallies and at the group’s occasional meetings.
Those who join have three choices: To train for suicide attacks to defend Iran’s national interests, for suicide attacks against Israel or the assassination of British author Salman Rushdie, who was sentenced to death by former Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for his 1989 book, “Satanic Verses”.