Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday taunted both Israel and the US in an interview with Al Jazeera, insisting that neither nation had the stomach for a military showdown with the Islamic Republic.
"Israel doesn't have the courage to do it," said Ahmadinejad when asked about the possibility that Israel would strike Iran's nuclear facilities. "Israel is too weak to face up to Iran militarily." The Iranian leader said the US had failed to beat even a small insurgency in Iraq, so was also afraid of starting a war with Iran.
Ahmadinejad was bolstered by the weekend activation of the Bushehr nuclear reactor in southern Iran, and the inauguration of Iran's new long-range bomber aircraft, which he called an "ambassador of death."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu long warned that without a viable threat of force, the international sanctions against Iran would never succeed in convincing Ahmadinejad and his regime to back down.