An Iranian-made missile is test-fired in this file photo.
A recently released report says launching a possible military strike on Iran will be more taxing for the United States than Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.
"Given Iran's large size and population, and the strength of Iranian nationalism, we estimate that the occupation of Iran would require a commitment of resources and personnel greater than what the US has expended over the past 10 years in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined," said the report compiled and endorsed by more than 30 former US diplomats, national security experts and retired military officers.
The report, an advance copy of which was provided to the Associated Press, aims to clarify the potential use of military force against Iran.
"The report is intended to have what we call an informing influence and hopefully something of a calming influence, but that's something readers will have to answer for themselves," said former US ambassador to the United Nations Thomas Pickering.
The US, Israel and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Tel Aviv has repeatedly threatened Tehran with a military strike under the pretext that Iran’s nuclear energy program includes a military component and has recently stepped up its war rhetoric against the Islamic Republic. Iran has refuted the allegations, promising a crushing response to any possible attack.
Experts believe that a military attack on Iran will add to a perception of the US as anti-Muslim which has been reinforced by the recently released US-made anti-Islam movie.
"Planners and pundits ought to consider that the riots and unrest following a Web entry about an obscure film are probably a fraction of what could happen following a strike - by the Israelis or US - on Iran," retired Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, an endorser of the report and a former operations chief for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview.
Other endorsers of the report include Brent Scowcroft, President George W. Bush's national security adviser; former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage, former senators Sam Nunn and Chuck Hagel, and two retired chiefs of US Central Command, Marine General Anthony Zinni and Navy Admiral William J. Fallon.
The report is based on publicly available documents, including unclassified intelligence information.