"U.S. develops military plan for attack on Iran's nuclear weapons"
Iran is playing a dangerous game that could ensnare the Middle East, the United States and others into conflict and a renewed nuclear arms race, U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey told CNN in an exclusive interview.
"My biggest worry is they will miscalculate our resolve," Dempsey said in an interview conducted during a stop in Afghanistan. "Any miscalculation could mean that we are drawn into conflict, and that would be a tragedy for the region and the world."
The recent loss of a U.S. Sentinel drone over Iran exposed part of America's espionage efforts against the country.
Iranian Armed Forces downed the U.S. RG-170 drone on Dec. 4, 140 miles inside the Iranian border from Afghanistan. Later, The Islamic Republic protested the violation of Iran's airspace by a U.S. drone. U.S president Barack Obama asked Iranian authorities to return the drone back, however Iran has refused to do so.
Dempsey said the loss of the drone is not the end of U.S. efforts to figure out what Iran is doing.
"If you are asking, 'Are we gathering intelligence against Iran in a variety of means?' the answer is of course," Dempsey said. "It would be rather imprudent of us not to try to understand what a nation who has declared itself to be an adversary of the United States is doing".
According to CNN, Behind the scenes Dempsey is quietly leading the ongoing military planning for an attack against Iran's nuclear weapons in the event the president gives the order to do so.
"We are examining a range of options," Dempsey said, echoing the "all options on the table" line used by administration officials.
Dempsey, the highest-ranking officer in the U.S. military, said the military options are achievable.
"I am satisfied that the options that we are developing are evolving to a point that they would be executable if necessary," he said.
Other countries are also on edge about Iran's progress toward a nuclear weapon. If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, the Saudis have said they will pursue getting the same capability.
"The U.S. believes a nuclear arms race in the Middle East would be a disaster for everyone," Dempsey noted.
Edited by: S. Isayev