Sunday, January 10, 2010

US General Discusses Contingency Plans on Iran

General David Petraeus, the commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), whose area of responsibility includes the Near East and the Persian Gulf region, today told CNN that the US has contingency plans to deal with Iran's heavily fortified nuclear facilities.

“Well, they certainly can be bombed," General Petraeus said. “The level of effect would vary with who it is that carries it out, what ordnance they have, and what capability they can bring to bear.”

"It would be almost literally irresponsible if CENTCOM were not to have been thinking about the various 'what ifs' and to make plans for a whole variety of different contingencies," Petraeus said.

General Petraeus said there was still time for the international community to engage Iran in diplomacy, noting there is no deadline on the enactment of any US contingency plans.

But he added "there's a period of time, certainly, before all this might come to a head, if you will." [CNN, 10 January 2010].

The US administration maintains that notwithstanding the contingency plans, the military option in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program is not being considered, while Iran maintains that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Petraeus declined to comment on Israel’s military capabilities or its intentions regarding the Iranian program.

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