US official: Iran unlikely to intentionally provoke war

February 16, 2012 17:40

WASHINGTON - Iran will respond if attacked but is unlikely to initiate or provoke a conflict, and it was believed that Israel had not made a decision to attack Iran over its nuclear program, a US intelligence official said on Thursday.

"Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz at least temporarily, and may launch missiles against United States forces and our allies in the region if it is attacked," Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

"Iran could also attempt to employ terrorist surrogates worldwide, however the agency assesses Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict," he said.

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