UNITED NATIONS - Iran told the United Nations Thursday it would respond “decisively” if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s carried out his threat to attack its nuclear sites.

In identical letters to the Security Council President, Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri of India and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee protested Netanyahu’s new threat - made on Israeli TV Channel 2 on Monday - to attack the Iranian nuclear sites and even suggested that for such an attack, he does not need “the support from Washington or the world.”

Iran “expresses its strong protest and condemnation of such a provocative, unwarranted, and irresponsible statement by the Israeli Prime Minister as well as other similar statements by officials of that regime. Such statements are in flagrant violation of the most fundamental provisions of the UN Charter and the basic principles of international law, which prohibit any act of aggression,” Khazaee said in his letter.

He stressed that Iran “has never had any intention to attack any other nation. At the same time, it should be emphasized that in accordance with its inherent right under Article 51 of the UN Charter, Iran would not hesitate to take all necessary measures in self-defence and to respond decisively to any attack against its people and its territory.” “Undoubtedly, threats to use force and any recourse to act of aggression, as stated by the Israeli regime, would obviously endanger peace and security in the region; which the United Nations should timely react against and take appropriate measures to prevent.

“Evidently, those who may resort to force should be held responsible for any adverse ramifications and dire consequences arising thereof,” the Iranian envoy warned.

It was ironic, he added, that such inflammatory remarks and “baseless allegations against Iran” are uttered by officials of a regime whose clandestine development and unlawful possession of nuclear weapons is the major threat to regional as well as international peace and security, and that has an unparalleled record of crimes and atrocities amounting to crimes against humanity”.

Iran is under four rounds of Security Council sanctions because of its nuclear programme which the west and Israel claim was intended to produce nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear programme is geared to peaceful purposes.