Sunday, July 20, 2008

Admiral Mike Mullen: Pressure Iran to prevent war

Sunday, 20 Jul 2008 23:02:27 PressTV

The top Pentagon commander says the world must pressure Iran into halting its nuclear work to prevent a military conflict with the country.

The world must bring them 'to a point where we can all deal with this issue of nuclear weapons', Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen told the Fox network on Sunday. "I fundamentally believe that they're on a path to achieve nuclear weapons some time in the future,'' he said. Iran affirms that its nuclear program is directed at electricity generation and that all its activities are in line with its rights under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The US and Israel, however, accuse Tehran of pursuing nuclear weaponry and have threatened to attack the country if it continues uranium enrichment. When asked about the consequences of an Israeli or US attack on Iran, Mullen said, "Right now I'm fighting two wars (in Afghanistan and Iraq) and I don't need a third one." The top US military commander explained that while the US Army has 'the reserves' to fight a third front, he worries about 'the possible unintended consequences of a strike' on Iran. While pursuing diplomacy to clarify the nature of its nuclear program, Iran has warned that it would target Israel and 32 US bases in the region should it come under attack over its enrichment activities. Adm. Mullen also touched on Saturday talks held in Geneva between Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, which was attended by a senior US official for the first time. The talks focused on a package of incentives recently presented to Iran, which requires the country to suspend uranium enrichment in exchange for political and economic benefits. A package of proposals drawn up by Iran to resolve the dispute surrounding its nuclear activities was also discussed. Noting the participation of Under Secretary of State William Burns in the talks, he said, "A few weeks ago I wouldn't have thought those were possible." Despite being dubbed by various US officials as a fundamental policy shift, Washington's commitment to negotiations with Iran was limited to listening rather than contributing. The US State Department has called the attendance a 'one-time' offer.


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