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U.S. ponders military strike against Iran's nuke facilities: report+
[February 12, 2006]

U.S. ponders military strike against Iran's nuke facilities: report+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)LONDON, Feb. 12_(Kyodo) _ The United States is mapping out plans to strike Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to prevent Iran's efforts to develop an atomic weapon, Britain's Sunday Telegraph reported.

"Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation," the report said.

"The most likely strategy would involve aerial bombardment by long-distance B2 bombers...," the report said, adding the bombing raids would be backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks.

The war plan is being prepared in case negotiations to halt Iran's nuclear ambitions fail, the report said.

"This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment," a senior Pentagon adviser was quoted as saying. "This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months."

The United States says Iran is pursuing a nuclear arms program, while Iran has said its nuclear programs are only for civilian energy purposes.

The International Atomic Energy Agency adopted a resolution on Feb. 4 to report the Iranian nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council for noncompliance with the country's obligations under an IAEA safeguards agreement.

The IAEA decision paved the way for possible action in the future by the Security Council, including imposing sanctions.

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