Gates: Attacking Iran, Syria would be costly

The United States would pay an extremely high price for a military attack on either Iran or Syria, Defense Secretary-designate Robert Gates said Tuesday. Gates, testifying at his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing to replace Donald H. Rumsfeld, suggested that Iran could respond to a US attack by closing off the Persian Gulf to oil exports and to "unleash a significant wave of terror" in the Middle East, Europe and the United States itself. While Iran has not been helpful in Iraq, the country could do a lot more to hurt US efforts there. As an example, he said Iran could provide chemical and biological weapons to terrorist groups.