(photo credit:AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
A military strike against Iran would be "incredibly
destabilizing" to the region said the US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. He believes Iran will continue to pursue nuclear weapons, even if sanctions against the country are increased.
Speaking Monday at the Aspen Security Forum, Mullen said it would be "incredibly dangerous" for Iran to achieve nuclear weapons, and that there's "no reason to trust" Iran's assurances that it is only pursuing a peaceful nuclear program, especially after the discovery of a secret nuclear facility near the holy city of Qom.
Mullen: I see
The admiral was responding to questions about whether
he shared the assessment of CIA Director Leon Panetta
, who said on
Sunday that Iran likely has enough nuclear material to make two weapons,
but is at least a year away from being able to carry that out.
The UN Security Council approved new sanctions
against Iran earlier this
month. Congress and the European Union followed with additional
measures aimed at discouraging Iran from continuing its uranium
enrichment program, which they fear could be used to produce a nuclear
Mullen said there was no reason to expect Iran to conform to
international norms, given its past behavior, but he declined to
describe what measures the US was considering. He has often said that
all options remain on the table.
He explained that the hardest part about trying to decide what to do
about Iran is how much the US does not know about the country's nuclear
When asked whether he thought Israel would give the United States time
to see whether tougher sanctions or talks would produce more cooperation
from Iran, he would only say that he believes the US and Israel are "in
sync" with their current policies.
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