Press TV – January 15, 2012
A US senator says President Barack Obama is prepared to issue the order for a military attack on Iran if the Washington-engineered sanctions fail to stop Tehran’s nuclear program.
“[Obama] is definitely capable of ordering a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities,” Joe Lieberman (I-CT) told The Cable in a Friday interview.
“I don’t know that the president will order a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities even if the sanctions don’t work, but I know that he’s capable of doing that and I believe he’s prepared to do that,” Lieberman said, adding that he doesn’t think Obama would ever send ground troops to Iran.
The US, Israel and their allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and have used this allegation as a pretext to convince the UN Security Council to impose four rounds of sanctions on Iran.
On New Year’s Eve, President Obama signed into law fresh unilateral economic sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank in an apparent bid to punish foreign companies and banks that do business with the Iranian financial institution.
The European Union followed suit with its foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton threatening Tehran with continuing sanctions. “I expect Iran will realize that we will continue with sanctions. EU members are discussing further sanctions right now,” she said.
The EU foreign ministers are expected to hold a meeting later this month on January 23 to discuss the proposed embargo on Iran’s oil exports.
Washington and Tel Aviv have also used nuclear weapons allegations to repeatedly threaten Tehran with the “option” of a military strike.
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.
With the upcoming US presidential election, the Republican candidates have similarly heightened the anti-Iran rhetoric, in an apparent bid to win over the Zionist lobby.
Meanwhile, Israeli officials have also recently stepped up their war rhetoric against Iran. On November 21, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned the “time has come” to deal with Iran. Israeli President Shimon Peres also threatened on November 6 that an attack against Iran is becoming “more and more likely.”
Iran has categorically refuted the US-led allegations regarding its nuclear program, saying that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Iranian officials have also 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.