Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Iran strike won't be decisive: Mullen

Updated on : Tuesday, February 23, 2010

WASHINGTON: The top US military officer warned on Monday that any strike against Iran would not be 'decisive' in countering Teheran's nuclear program.

Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he supported using diplomatic and economic pressure against Iran and repeated his view that military action could carry 'unintended consequences.' 'No strike, however effective, will be in and of itself decisive,' Adm. Mullen told a press conference after recently returning from a visit to the Middle East.

But he said the US military stood ready with plans for possible action if necessary. 'Let me be clear: We owe the (defense) secretary and the president a range of options for this threat. We owe the American people our readiness.'

Adm. Mullen's comments came as the United States pushed for fresh sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program and before Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visits Washington this week.

The admiral said he believed Iran was 'on a path to achieve nuclear weaponisation' and that the effort 'further destabilizes the region.' He said there was widespread concern in the Middle East about Iran's role and its nuclear ambitions.

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