Iran General NewsIran is top threat to U.S., military official says

Iran is top threat to U.S., military official says

-

Reuters: Iran is the biggest threat to the United States and its allies in the Middle East, surpassing al Qaeda, which is down but not out, a senior U.S. military official said on Friday.

By Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Iran is the biggest threat to the United States and its allies in the Middle East, surpassing al Qaeda, which is down but not out, a senior U.S. military official said on Friday.

“The biggest threat to the United States and to our interests and to our friends, I might add, has come into focus and it’s Iran,” said the official, addressing a forum in Washington.

Next week, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, is expected to release a report that includes evidence of Iranian nuclear research which makes little sense if not weapons related, Western diplomats said.

However, the official said he did not believe Iran wanted to provoke a conflict and added he did not know if the Islamic state had decided to build a nuclear weapon.

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful and that it is enriching uranium to power reactors for electricity generation.

“I don’t know that the Iranians have made the decision to make a nuclear weapon,” the official said.

Reporters were allowed to cover the event on condition that the senior military official not be identified.

“Al Qaeda is not out, but it’s down,” the official said. He added that al Qaeda had also been largely marginalized by Arab Spring uprisings that have shown change is possible without resorting to the group’s “medieval practices.”

The United States, the European Union and others have imposed numerous rounds of economic sanctions on Tehran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment program.

‘UNPRECEDENTED PRESSURE’

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday said he agreed on the need to keep “unprecedented pressure” on Iran. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday stricter sanctions were the key to reining in Iran’s nuclear program.

But it is far from clear whether China and Russia, members of the U.N. Security Council, would agree to significantly tighten trade and financial sanctions on Tehran.

At the Pentagon, spokesman George Little said the United States remained focused on leveraging diplomatic and economic pressure against Iran.

“We remain very concerned about their intentions with respect to their nuclear program,” Little told reporters.

“But in terms of the instruments of national power that we’re currently employing, the focus is on diplomatic and economic,” Little said.

Last month the United States accused Iran of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, an allegation Tehran denied.

There has been a surge of speculation in Israeli media this week that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is working to secure Cabinet consensus for an attack on Iranian nuclear installations.

Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981 and launched a similar sortie against Syria in 2007, precedents lending weight to its veiled threats to take similar action on Iran if foreign pressure fails to curb its nuclear program.

Iran has warned that it will respond to any attacks by hitting Israel and U.S. interests in the Gulf. Analysts say Tehran could retaliate by closing the Strait of Hormuz, the waterway where about 40 percent of all traded oil passes. (Additional reporting by Fredrik Dahl in Vienna; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Latest news

NCRI Hosts Conference in France To Address the Need To Hold the Iranian Regime Accountable for Its Crimes

On January 17, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) hosted a conference in Auvers-sur-Oise, north of Paris,...

Iran’s Regime Tries To Whitewash Its Crimes

Iran’s State Prisons and Security and Corrective Measures Organization, which is under the supervision of the Judiciary, has distributed...

Iran: Raisi’s Six-Month Economic Record Contrasts Sharply With His 7,000-Page Program

In the summer of 2021, the Iran regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei installed the infamous Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi...

Iran’s Export in the Casino of the State Mafia

The Chairman of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Mohammad Khansari, has stated that the total volume of exports of...

Will Iraq Get Ever Free of Iran’s Sway?

After many years and massive popular protests, there are indications that Iraq’s body politic has decided to separate its...

Iran: The Truth Behind Regime’s Call for a Return

While brain drain and migration from Iran under the mullahs’ rule has one of the highest rates in the...

Must read

Bahrain jails three for spying for Iran: report

AFP: Bahrain has sentenced one of its citizens and...

Iran rejects parts of nuclear package it has been offered

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jun. 11 – Iran rejected...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you