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Reports Citing Imminent Attack on Iran Are Wrong, Official Says

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2006 – Recent news reports citing an imminent U.S. military attack against Iran are flat wrong, a senior Defense Department official said here today.

Such reports constitute "wild speculation," DoD spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters, reiterating previous policy remarks President Bush has made on the Iran issue.

The president has chosen diplomacy in concert with the international community as the preferred approach in persuading the Iranian government to jettison its nuclear programs, Whitman said.

Yet, it would be unrealistic, Whitman suggested, for people to believe that DoD doesn't have plans for all types of potential military contingencies, including Iran.

"We plan for all sorts of things," Whitman said.

News reports have said the United States government is planning to attack Iran over its nuclear policies. Iran has so far refused to comply with U. N. entreaties to relinquish its activities to develop atomic fuel.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadienejad announced on April 11 that Iran had produced enriched uranium using 164 centrifuges. Such material can be used in nuclear reactors to produce electricity or to make nuclear weapons.

Bush voiced his displeasure at Iranian efforts to develop nuclear technology during an April 10 speech given at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University here.

"We do not want the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon, (or) the capacity to make a nuclear weapon, or the knowledge as to how to make a nuclear weapon. That's our stated goal," the president said.

Iran is on a U.S. list of countries that sponsor terrorism. The Iranian president has also voiced his belief that Israel, a major U.S. ally, should be destroyed. Senior U.S. officials believe that any nuclear technology the Iranians develop will eventually be used to produce nukes.

The U.N. Security Council put out a March 29 statement declaring that body's "serious concern" about Iran's decision to resume its uranium-enrichment activities.

The Iranian government had ceased to cooperate with International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s nuclear regulatory organization. Iranian officials have said their country has a right to possess nuclear technology.

The Iranian government's persistence in further developing its nuclear program "only further isolates the regime from the rest of the world," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters during an April 11 news briefing.

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