(photo credit: AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
The United States has a viable military plan to attack Iran and its nuclear
facilities, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on
Sunday, stressing, though, that such a strike was probably a bad
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Mullen has often warned that a strike against Iran would have
serious and unpredictable ripple effects around the Middle East. At the same
time, he has said that Iran developing a nuclear weapon is
Mullen would not say which risk he thinks is
But he told NBC television’s Meet The Press that a strike remains
an option. Should it come to that, he said, the US military has a plan at
“Military options have been on the table and remain on the table.
It’s one of the options that the president has,” Mullen said. “I hope we don’t
get to that, but it’s an important option, and it’s one that’s well
Also on Sunday, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards,
Yadollah Javani, told the official IRNA news agency that Iran will make the
Persian Gulf a war zone unsafe for all nations if the US attempts to attack its
“If the American make the slightest mistake, the
security of the region will be endangered.
Security in the Persian Gulf
should be for all or none,” he was quoted as saying to IRNA by AFP.
will defend ourselves if America or Israel resort to any hostile measures
against our vital values,” Javani said.
Meanwhile, the International
Crisis Group, a Brussels- based nongovernmental organization that provides
analysis and advice on preventing and resolving conflicts, is scheduled on
Monday to release a report on the current Israeli-Hizbullah standoff, in which
the NGO concluded that the main obstacle to renewed warfare is the fear, on both
sides, that the next conflict will be far more violent and extensive than the
Second Lebanon War in 2006.
One possible spark for a renewed conflict
could be an Israeli or American strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
mutual fear, the report claims, could lead one side to feel emboldened enough to
take risks under the assumption that the other side will limit its response to
avoid an escalation. Such action, the report warns, could lead to all-out
Israel had reportedly considered bombing a convoy of trucks
transferring advanced weaponry to Hizbullah from Syria earlier this
“Thus, Israel might target a weapons storage facility in Lebanon or
Syria; it might also attack a Hizbullah-bound weapons convoy it viewed as being
particularly dangerous,” the report said. “By the same token, Hizbullah might at
some point decide to reassert itself – for example if it were to feel that a
strictly defensive posture was gradually eroding its legitimacy – by, say,
retaliating against violations of Lebanese airspace.”
According to the
report, the only long-term way to avoid conflict in the north is to resume
meaningful peace talks between Israel and Syria and to start talks with
“There is no other answer to the Hizbullah dilemma and, for now,
few better ways to affect Teheran’s calculations,” the report said. “Short of
such an initiative, deeper political involvement by the international community
is needed to enhance communications between the parties, defuse tensions and
avoid costly missteps.”
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.