Group urges credible U.S. military threat to Iran
By Arshad Mohammed
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States should deploy ships, step up covert activities and sharpen its rhetoric to make more credible the threat of a U.S. military strike to stop Iran's nuclear program, a bipartisan group said on Wednesday.
Former U.S. politicians, generals and officials said in a report that the best chance of stopping Iran's suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons was to make clear American willingness to use force, although it stopped short of advocating military action.
The report by a Bipartisan Policy Centre (BPC) task force of Democrats, Republicans and independents is to be formally issued on Wednesday and comes amid speculation about the possibility of an Israeli military strike against Iran.
There is little evidence to suggest that U.S. President Barack Obama has any significant interest in the possibility of a military strike against Iran, though his administration has repeatedly said that all options are on the table.
To a lesser degree there has also been debate about a U.S. attack, an idea advocated by former Pentagon defence planner Matthew Kroenig in his recent Foreign Affairs Magazine article, "Time to Attack Iran: Why a Strike Is the Least Bad Option."
The BPC report's central thesis is that to persuade Iran to address questions about its nuclear program via negotiations, economic sanctions must be accompanied by a credible threat of military attack against Iran's nuclear facilities.
"The United States needs to make clear that Iran faces a choice: it can either abandon its nuclear program through a negotiated arrangement or have its program destroyed militarily by the United States or Israel," said the report, entitled "Meeting the Challenge: Stopping the Clock."
CREDIBLE THREAT Continued...