Contextual Content

Attack on Iran would turn region into a fireball

After reports of Israeli military exercises as rehearsals for an attack on Iran, and about US administration and Congress sanctioning covert operations against Iran, the Iranian Foreign Minister dismisses the idea saying that Israel is in too much internal turmoil to "resort to such craziness." He adds that the US is in no position to "take another risk in the region."

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff says "opening up a third front right now would be extremely stressful on us."

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Story Transcript

CARLO BASILONE: The New York Times reported in late June that Israeli warplanes staged a major rehearsal for an attack on Iran.

MARTIN VAN CREVELD, ISRAELI MILITARY HISTORIAN: They are talking of about a hundred aircraft, which may or may not be. We don’t really know about a general rehearsal.

BASILONE: A New Yorker report by Seymour Hersh says that the Bush administration and US Congress are planning covert operations against Iran. Hersh told CNN:

Courtesy: CNN

SEYMOUR HERSH, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST & AUTHOR: I don’t think we can safely say that any military action is off the table, no matter what happens.

BASILONE: On Wednesday, Iran’s foreign minister dismissed the threat of an attack, asserting that the United States couldn’t afford to open another front in the Middle East, and that Israel is in a state of too much internal turmoil.

MANOUCHEHR MOTTAKI, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (VIA TRANSLATOR): We do not perceive such a possibility at the moment. The Israeli government is facing a political breakdown within itself and within the region. But we do not foresee such a possibility for that regime to resort to such craziness. The United States too is not in a position where it can take another risk in the region. Of course, there are people in the United States who are interested in that, but we think that the rational thinkers in the United States will prevent from that action being taken, and will prevent the imposition of another adventuresome act that would put pressure on the American taxpayers.

BASILONE: Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also responded.

ADMIRAL MIKE MULLEN, CHAIRMAN, US JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I’ve been pretty clear before that from the United States perspective, the United States military perspective in particular, that opening up a third front right now would be extremely stressful on us. That doesn’t mean we don’t have capacity or reserve, but that would really be very challenging. And, also, the consequences of that sometimes are very difficult to predict.

BASILONE: Mullen refused to say what Israeli leaders told him during meetings last week about any intentions to strike Iran.

MULLEN: I won’t discuss the details or the concerns they expressed, nor will I comment one way or any other about the speculation surrounding Israeli intentions. Those are matters for the Israeli military and the Israeli government to address.

BASILONE: On June 21, UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei told Al Arabiya Television, "A military strike, in my opinion, would be worse than anything possible. It would turn the region into a fireball. If you do a military strike, it will mean that Iran, if it is not already making nuclear weapons, will launch a crash course to build nuclear weapons with the blessing of all Iranians, even those in the West."

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Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.