Saturday Jan 14, 201212:19 PM GMT
'Military attack on Iran imponderable'
Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:4AM
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Former US Middle East envoy George Mitchell
Former US Middle East envoy George Mitchell says the idea of launching a military strike against Iran is untenable, as the measure could wreak tremendous havoc on Israel.


“I don't think anyone who is a proponent of a preemptive strike [against Iran] has so far made a sufficient case to justify it at this time,” Mitchell said in a recent interview.

The top US diplomat further argued that military options will not guarantee the full termination of Iran's nuclear program, adding that such confrontation can merely bring about a temporary set-back in Tehran's achievements in nuclear technology.

He warned Washington against the repercussions of launching a new war, saying, “One thing we've found in recent years that is true historically is that it's awfully easy to get into wars, and very hard to get out of them.”

Mitchell went on to say that in case of a military strike, Iran would launch “a massive missile attack” against Israel “which could do tremendous damage.”

Washington and Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the "option" of a military strike, based on the allegation that Iran's nuclear work may consist of a covert military aspect.

On December 20, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta claimed that Iran was one year away from building an atomic weapon, threatening that Washington will take every step “necessary” to stop Tehran's nuclear program.

Less than a week later, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said the US military is ready to launch a military strike against Iran, if occasion necessitates.

Israeli officials have also stepped up their war rhetoric against Iran over the past months.

Iran has categorically refuted the West's allegations, saying that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Iranian officials have promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.

ASH/AZ/MA

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