Colin Powell says no Israeli or US strike on Iran likely

Former US secretary of state says sanctions may never persuade Iran to back off nuclear program but attack on facilities still not on horizon.

Colin Powell 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Colin Powell 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
WASHINGTON — Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday that neither the US nor Israel is likely to launch a military strike on Iran anytime soon.
Powell, who was also once the top US military officer, said that he does not think "the stars are lining up" for an attack on Iran's known or suspected nuclear sites.
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Speaking on NBC Television's "Meet the Press," Powell also said international sanctions on Iran may never persuade Teheran to back off what it says is a legitimate nuclear energy program.
Powell said the US may have to accept that, while trying to deter Iran from building or using a bomb.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, currently in New York to attend the annual General Assembly of the United Nations, insisted on Sunday that his government does not want an atomic bomb and that Iran is only seeking peace and a nuclear-weapons-free world.
Last week, International Atomic Energy Association chief Yukia Amano warned that he cannot  confirm that all of Iran's nuclear activities are peaceful because Teheran is not fully cooperating with his inspectors.
Amano also chided Iran for barring some of those inspectors and for stonewalling his agency's attempt to probe allegations that Teheran is interested in developing atomic arms.