A senior aide to the US Vice President has reportedly said a military option against Iran over its nuclear program is on the table again.
Vice President Dick Cheney is again talking about possible US military action to shut down Iran’s nuclear program, the Israeli website DEBKA quoted the aide as saying.
The official added Cheney had told US troops in a military base in Iraq that “Iran has got to be very high on that list (of the countries that might be attacked)”.
The remarks came ahead of the talks Cheney was to hold during his 10-day tour of the Middle East, which began Monday, March 17 in Iraq.
The report added that Cheney is again talking about possible US military action to shut down Iran’s nuclear program, citing military and political sources in the region.
Cheney stopped over in Oman Wednesday, after two days in Iraq. He will travel to Saudi Arabia and will be in al-Quds next Saturday. He is also scheduled to visit Ramallah and Turkey.
According to the report, Cheney would emphasize the Bush administration’s decision to distance itself from the National Intelligence Estimate indicating that “Iran has halted its nuclear arms program in 2003.”
The report has undermined the position of hawkish politicians who were beating the drums of war with Iran.
Cheney will also underlines that “the administration now buys British, German, French and Israeli intelligence estimates that Iran is indeed pressing forward with programs for building nuclear weapons, warheads and ballistic missiles for their delivery.”
The report added the Americans will need the cooperation of Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey to mount a military attacks on Iran.
Israel was notified by the White House that the Iranian issue had been added to Cheney’s regional agenda at the last minute, DEBKA quoted informed sources as saying.