The US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen says Washington has long been considering military options against Iran over Tehran's nuclear program.
The US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen
In an interview aired on Sunday on CNN, Mullen again accused Iran of trying
to build nuclear weapons and said he does not believe "for one second that
Iran's nuclear activities are peaceful."
"Iran is still very much on a path to be able to develop nuclear weapons," he added.
"We've actually been thinking about military options for a significant period of time. And I've spoken with many others, that we've had options on the table... And we will continue to do that in the future," the official said.
Earlier in November, US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also urged Washington to launch a military attack on Iran.
Mullen's remarks come as US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has earlier this month rejected the idea of any future military action against Iran, saying no strike can stop Tehran's nuclear program and diplomacy is the best way to resolve Iran's nuclear issue.
Mullen made the remarks following Iran's announcement that the Bushehr nuclear power plant in south of the country has started to generate electricity.
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, said on Saturday that the fueling of the Bushehr nuclear power plant is complete and expressed hope that the plant would hook up with the national grid in one or two months.
Amid a standoff over Iran's nuclear program, both Tel Aviv and Washington have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the possibility of military attack on the Islamic Republic, based on the unfounded but constantly repeated allegation that Tehran's nuclear program may consist of a covert military agenda.
While the US possesses and has used nuclear weapons in the past, Washington, in a politically-motivated move, is imposing unilateral sanctions against Iran, which does not possess nuclear weapons nor does it seek to develop such weapons.
The UN Security Council imposed a US-engineered sanctions resolution against Iran on June 9 over its nuclear program, and the United States and the European Union have imposed additional sanctions of their own.
Tehran has repeatedly declared that it will not give up the legitimate nuclear rights of the Iranian nation under Western pressure and threats.
Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and thus has the right to enrich uranium to produce fuel.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran's civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.
'US threat of war on Iran, a joke'
A senior Iranian commander describes the remarks of US joint chief of staff about the possibility of military action against the Islamic Republic as a joke.
Commander of Iran's Basij Force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi
"We've actually been thinking about military options for a significant period of
time," Admiral Mike Mullen said in an interview with CNN.
"This is a joke... For 30 years they have been dreaming, hopefully they will wake up," Commander of Iran's Basij Force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi said in an interview with Press TV on Sunday.
Naqdi said Iran is a powerful country, that today its supporters all over the world have surrounded the US.
"... anywhere that US forces are present they are surrounded by Basij... they cannot move an inch," the Iranian commander added.
Amid a standoff over Iran's nuclear program, both Tel Aviv and Washington 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 agenda.
Iran says its nuclear program is completely peaceful and within the framework of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, to which it is a signatory.
Iranian officials have warned that any act of aggression by the US and Israel against Iran's nuclear facilities would be firmly responded to and could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.
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