Plans to strike Iran 'ready', says US Israel envoy

Published: May 17, 2012

A US airforce C17 drop paratroopers during a training exercise over Maniago near Aviano air base on March 22, 2011. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

JERUSALEM: US plans for a possible military strike on Iran are ready and the option is “fully available”, the US ambassador to Israel said, days before Tehran resumes talks with world powers which suspect it of seeking to develop nuclear arms.         

Like Israel, the United States has said it considers military force a last resort to prevent Iran using its uranium enrichment to make a bomb. Iran insists its nuclear programme is for purely civilian purposes.

“It would be preferable to resolve this diplomatically and through the use of pressure than to use military force,” Ambassador Dan Shapiro said in remarks about Iran aired by Israel’s Army Radio on Thursday.

“But that doesn’t mean that option is not fully available – not just available, but it’s ready. The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready,” said Shapiro, who the radio station said had spoken on Tuesday.

The United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany have been using sanctions and negotiations to try to persuade Iran to curb its uranium enrichment, which can produce fuel for reactors, medical isotopes, and, at higher levels of purification, fissile material for warheads.

New talks opened in Istanbul last month and resume on May 23 in Baghdad.

Israel, which is widely assumed to have the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal, feels threatened by the prospect of its arch-foe Iran going nuclear and has hinted it could launch preemptive war.

But many analysts believe the United States alone has the military clout to do lasting damage to Iran’s nuclear programme.

In January, Shapiro told an Israeli newspaper the United States was “guaranteeing that the military option is ready and available to the president at the moment he decides to use it”.

US lawmakers are considering additional legislation that would increase pressure on Iran, with further measures to punish foreign companies for dealing with Iran in any capacity.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • khalsa
    May 17, 2012 - 1:31PM

    relief…its not pakistan but iran who is next

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  • May 17, 2012 - 2:32PM

    are we ready for World War III ?

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  • Light
    May 17, 2012 - 3:10PM

    why not go and check Israel Nukes first? Why world do not see Israel as a threat to world peace?

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  • someone
    May 17, 2012 - 4:04PM

    What is this international hooliganism of the USA? You have nuclear bombs which you dropped on Japan in 1945, your military receives training to drop nuclear bombs on holy islamic cities and then you bully Iran and say they should not develop the nuclear bomb.
    Like every bully hooligan the rogue state of USA is a coward!!
    If only all the muslim countries followed in Iran’s footsteps and severed diplomatic relations with USA…and remember USA, China has a stake in Iran and will not allow you to carry out your hooliganism on Iran!

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  • Dr.X
    May 17, 2012 - 4:05PM

    so the world wants to attack Iran because they ‘suspect’ it might be developing atomic weapons that ‘might’ be used on Israel…..but the same people sympathize when Israel openly declares it has the weapons and intent to wage war on Iran? Height of hypocrisy.

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  • May 17, 2012 - 4:29PM

    Every act of Israel is kosher.

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  • let there be peace
    May 17, 2012 - 4:58PM

    Americans probably have a big dilemma. Iran first or Pakistan? Without having control over one, attacking other is very risky.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    May 17, 2012 - 7:05PM

    Its not terrorism then what is it????? kosher terror may be…

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  • Freeman
    May 17, 2012 - 8:27PM

    It seems Isreal is fulling willing to destroy and sacrifice America for its own pupose. It will backlash in both ways If Isreal attack on either on Pakistan or Iran. Or Even America attack on Iran or Pakistan MAIN instalaltions of the facilities will not be successful and will only server partially purpose less than 1% or 2%. After that America will never be able to access either in both countries as they will not have any excuse. They know if they do then in this region America will not have any place to hide. Iran is no Iraq and also is very big country and have more resources and power. They also got Medium rang missile technology which can make hell of Isreal and American interst in this region.

    If a new war started for the next 10 years then everybody know who will get one time dinner in couple of years anywhere in the world. World is already in bad condition Economically and Enviorement.

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  • Pollack
    May 17, 2012 - 10:08PM

    @Sane.:
    “are we ready for World War III ?”

    World war between who? Between Iran and most of the advanced world which has real power? Iran has to pull in some miraculous powers to win that war. I doubt if irans mullahs can deliver that miracle.

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  • G. Din
    May 17, 2012 - 10:59PM

    @Freeman:
    Remind yourself of the pummeling of Dresden! If one strike is not sufficient, there will be repeat strikes. Neither Iran nor Pakistan nor anyone else shall be allowed to blackmail any democracy!

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  • Nija guy
    May 17, 2012 - 11:29PM

    God is in ControlRecommend

  • let there be peace
    May 18, 2012 - 11:52AM

    All those calling US and Israel ‘terrorists’, are you hypocrite or you don’t know it is Saudi Arabia that wants Americans to attack Iran fast to ‘cut the head of a snake’?

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