Tuesday Dec 20, 201101:51 PM GMT
Powell says war on Iran unlikely
Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:16PM
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Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell
Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell says Washington and Tel Aviv are not likely to launch a military strike against Iran anytime soon.


Powell said he does not think the "stars are lining up" for an attack on Iran's known or suspected nuclear sites, the Associated Press reported.

In a Sunday appearance on NBC television's Meet the Press, Powell said international sanctions on Iran may never persuade Tehran to back off its nuclear energy program.

He said the United States may have to accept this while trying to deter Iran from building or using a bomb.

The US and its main ally Israel accuse Iran of following a military nuclear program -- a charge repeatedly rejected by Tehran.

This is while the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its reports on Tehran's nuclear activities has found no deviation in Iran's nuclear program or declared nuclear material in the country.

Iran argues that as a member of the IAEA and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it has the right to use peaceful nuclear energy.

Tehran has criticized Western powers for intensifying the standoff over its nuclear program and hampering negotiations by imposing a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions targeting the country's economy.

The United States, the European Union, and their allies imposed unilateral sanctions shortly afterwards.

However, Iranian officials have repeated insisted that economy continues to show growth and that the sanctions have failed to affect the energy rich country's financial sector.

Months after sanctions were imposed on Tehran; Iranian oil minister said that the country was expected to turn into a gasoline exporter in the near future.

NN/HGHH/MMN
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