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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief warned in comments aired Saturday that any military strike on Iran could turn the Mideast to a "ball of fire" and lead Iran to a more aggressive stance on its controversial nuclear program.
Mohamed ElBaradei made the remarks in an interview aired on Saturday by Al Arabiya TV. The interview comes a day after reports emerged that Israel conducted an large-scale military exercise that the United States believes is in part a message to Iran that Israel has the capability to attack its nuclear program.
"In my opinion, a military strike will be the worst. ... It will turn the Middle East to a ball of fire," ElBaradei said on Al-Arabiya television. It also could prompt Iran to press even harder to seek a nuclear program and force him to resign, he said.
Iran also criticized the Israeli exercises Saturday. The official IRNA news agency quoted a government spokesman as saying the exercises demonstrate that Israel "jeopardizes global peace and security."