Iran slams West military option on Libya
Western countries should not take advantage of the popular movement in Libya to turn the country into a military base, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Press TV reported.
"We condemn any kind of violence against people in this inhumane form that is underway and we are hopeful that the rulers who are not popular with their people leave the scene to prevent their country from going to pieces and their people getting killed in an inhumane way," Mehmanparast told. "Such issues, however, should not provide an excuse for military interference by other countries."
Mehmanparast reiterated that other countries, especially those in the West, should not take advantage of Libyan people's presence on the political scene aimed at determining their fate and said, "They should not try to turn countries into military bases."
The U.S. is in talks with NATO and other allies about possible measures against the current Libyan leadership, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice said commenting on a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, RIA Novosti reported.
The U.S. diplomat was cautious when asked about possible U.S. military support of Libyan opposition. "It is unclear at this point who will emerge as the critical opposition elements. And we await to see how the opposition will coalesce. And in that context, it is premature to talk about any kind of military assistance."
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, however, that the alliance will act strictly under the Security Council resolution, which rules out military intervention into Libya's domestic affairs.
Fox News reported that the U.S. has already started repositioning its naval forces in the area.
"The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise - which was previously positioned off the coast of Somalia, where it was stationed to respond to a pirate hijacking - has turned around and moved to the mouth of the Suez Canal in the Red Sea," the channel said. "It is now heading in the direction of Libya."
An unnamed military official said the ship has not yet been ordered to move through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea, as the U.S. military still weighting possible options.
According to another military source, the Pentagon is seeking an additional battalion of Marines to attach to the Marine Expeditionary Unit on board the USS Kearsarge. The unit may assist in "a humanitarian effort in Libya."