"Mullen: Using force against Iran still an option
Hilary Leila Krieger
The Jerusalem Post
American military force against Iran remains an option, though it would be a "last resort," US Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in response to a question from The Jerusalem Post Tuesday.
Mullen emphasized, however, the importance he placed on engagement with the Islamic Republic, particularly when it came to Afghanistan, at the same time that he called for stricter UN resolutions to block Iran's weapons smuggling abilities.
In a rare press conference with the foreign media Tuesday, he alluded to a recent US interception of a ship sailing under a Cypriot flag with weapons that America believed had come from Iran and were heading toward Syria, "where we think they will get in the next day or so."
That was because, while American forces could board the ship, they could not seize the weapons under current international law, Mullen said. The situation, he said, spoke to "the need to have stronger resolutions, particularly in a case like this, where Iran has clearly violated a United Nations Security Council resolution," a reference to previous restrictions on Iranian weapons transfers.
He described Iran as "unhelpful in many, many ways, in many, many areas, and so I wouldn't be overly optimistic at this point" when it comes to engagement....
When asked by the Post about the potential for military action and whether the US had changed its stance with the new leadership coming into office, Mullen replied, "I don't think the new administration has taken any options off the table, including military force."--MORE--"