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US has Iran attack plan, but doesn't want to use it: Mullen
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Aug 1, 2010

Iran says it will set Tel Aviv ablaze if attacked: report
Tehran (AFP) Aug 1, 2010 - Iran will set Tel Aviv on fire if Israel attacks the Islamic republic over its controversial nuclear programme, newspapers on Sunday quoted Iran's envoy to the United Nations as saying. "If the Zionist regime commits the slightest aggression against the Iranian soil, we will set the entire war front and Tel Aviv on fire," Mohammad Khazai said in the northeastern town of Kashmar, the Farhang-e Ashti daily reported. The government-run Iran newspaper quoted him as saying that the "noise" about an Israeli attack on the Islamic republic is a "sign of the enemy's fear."

Israel has never ruled out taking military action to thwart Iran's programme of uranium enrichment, accusing its arch-foe of seeking to acquire atomic weapons -- a charge Tehran denies. Iranian officials have frequently warned of a crushing response in the event of an attack either by Israel or the United States, which has led international efforts to bring a halt to Tehran's uranium enrichment work. Iran insists that its nuclear programme is peaceful and has refused to stop enrichment in defiance of the UN Security Council, which has imposed four sets of sanctions on Tehran.

Iran guards warn US against attack over nuclear work
Tehran (AFP) Aug 1, 2010 - Iran will make the strategic Gulf region unsafe for all if it comes under attack by the United States over it nuclear programme, the deputy head of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Sunday. "If the Americans make the slightest mistake, tge security of the region will be endangered. Security in the Persian Gulf should be for all or none," Yadollah Javani told the official IRNA news agency. "The Persian Gulf is a strategic region and if it is endangered they (Americans) will suffer losses and our response will be firm. "We will defend ourselves if America or Israel resort to any hostile measures against our vital values," he added.

The international community led by the United States has stepped up pressure on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme amid concerns that the Islamic republic is engaged in a covert nuclear weapons programme, a charge Tehran vehemently denies. The United States and Israel have not ruled out a military strike to stop Iran's alleged atomic ambitions. Javani's declaration preceded comments by the top US military officer on Sunday that a plan to attack Iran was ready, if needed to stop the Islamic republic from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was "extremely concerned" about the possible repercussions of such a strike. Iranian officials have frequently vowed a crushing response to any US and Israeli attacks.

The top US military officer says he has a plan to attack Iran if needed to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons, but is "extremely concerned" about the possible repercussions of such a strike.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said military action against Iran could have "unintended consequences that are difficult to predict in what is an incredibly unstable part of the world."

But, speaking on Sunday's "Meet the Press" program on NBC, Mullen said allowing Iran to develop a nuclear weapon was also unacceptable.

"Quite frankly, I am extremely concerned about both of those outcomes," he said.

Mullen held out hope that a combination of international diplomatic efforts and sanctions against Iran would lead Tehran to suspend a nuclear enrichment program that many believe is a clandestine bid to develop nuclear arms.

"I am hopeful (it) works," he said.

At the same time, though, he said "the military options have been on the table, and remain on the table".

"I hope we don't get to that, but it's an important option and it's one that's well understood," he added.

Asked if the military has a plan to strike Iran, Mullen replied, "We do".

He did not elaborate.

Iran insists its uranium enrichment program is for peaceful purposes only.

earlier related report
Israel's Barak fears Turkey spy chief is 'supporter of Iran'
Jerusalem (AFP) Aug 1, 2010 - Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has expressed concern over Turkey's appointment of a new spy chief he called a "supporter" of the Jewish state's archfoe Iran, army radio reported Sunday.

"Turkey is a friendly country, a strategic ally, but the nomination in recent weeks of a new chief of the Turkish secret services who is a supporter of Iran worries us," he told a meeting of his centre-left Labour party.

Barak added that the appointment could result in "the Iranians having access to secret information," in a recording of his remarks broadcast by military radio.

The Turkish official, Hakan Fidan, 42, was appointed to head the National Intelligence Organisation, known by its Turkish acronym MIT, on May 27 after serving as undersecretary for foreign affairs to the prime minister and representing Turkey at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The latter position placed him at the forefront of Turkey's efforts to resolve the international standoff over Iran's nuclear programme, according to the Turkish press.

Israel has viewed Turkey's efforts with suspicion, especially a deal brokered with Iran and Brazil in May that would have seen Iran ship some of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for high-enriched uranium.

The deal was promptly rejected by other world powers, which backed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran on June 9 over its refusal to halt its controversial uranium enrichment programme.

Turkish-Israeli relations plunged to an all-time low following the deadly May 31 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in which naval commandos shot dead nine Turkish activists, one of whom was also a US citizen.

Israel views Iran as its greatest strategic threat because of the nuclear programme, which it believes is aimed at developing weapons, and the frequent predictions of the demise of the Jewish state by Iran's leaders.

Like the United States, Israel has said it prefers to resolve the nuclear standoff peacefully but has not ruled out a military strike.

Iran has always said its nuclear enrichment programme is for purely civilian purposes.


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Iran 'ready' to suspend uranium enrichment
Tehran (UPI) Jul 29, 2010
Iran's atomic energy chief Thursday offered to suspend an ongoing uranium enrichment program for its Tehran research reactor if the country was assured of supply of the fuel from other sources. Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Director Ali Akbar Salehi told Iranian television news that if the supply of 20 percent enriched uranium was assured from sources outside Iran that would elimin ... read more

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