WASHINGTON  —The US military has a plan to attack Iran, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said Sunday, although he added that he thinks a strike is probably a bad idea.

Adm. Mike Mullen, the highest-ranking US military officer, has often warned that a military strike on Iran would have serious and unpredictable ripple effects around the Middle East. At the same time, he said the risk of Iran developing a nuclear weapon was unacceptable.

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Mullen would not say which risk he thought was worse. But he told NBC television program "Meet The Press" that a military strike remains an option if need be.

He added that, should it come to that, the military has a plan at hand. He didn't elaborate further.

Mullen said very directly in his February visit to Israel that he opposed Iran's acquisition of a nuclear capability. However, he also warned Israel tellingly of the “unintended consequences” of a military strike.

During a press conference at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Mullen said, “From a policy standpoint, Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon, [or] nuclear capability.”

He added, “I’ve also been clear, them getting a weapon and/or the outbreak of a conflict would be a big, big problem for all of us. And I worry a great deal about the unintended consequences of a strike, that are pretty hard to be specific about in a pretty volatile region that’s pretty hard to predict.”


Yaakov Lappin and Haviv  Rettig Gur contributed to this report.


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