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Posted by on Jan 17, 2005 in At TMV | 0 comments

Bush Won’t Rule Out Military Action On Iran

Amid the continued controversy raging over Sy Hersch’s New Yorker story, President George Bush has left the door ajar for military action against Iran, if need be.

Is this sending Iran a message? Or the reflection of some actual contingency plans close to what Hersch wrote about in his story? Here’s the news report:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Bush said on Monday he would not rule out military action against Iran if that country was not more forthcoming about its suspected nuclear weapons program.

"I hope we can solve it diplomatically, but I will never take any option off the table," Bush said in an interview with NBC News when asked if he would rule out the potential for military action against Iran "if it continues to stonewall the international community about the existence of its nuclear weapons program."

Iran denies it has been trying to make nuclear weapons and says its nuclear program is geared solely to producing electricity.

Bush’s comments followed Pentagon criticism on Monday of a published report that it was mounting reconnaissance missions inside Iran to identify potential nuclear and other targets.

It has been clear for months (and actually since 911 amid allegations that Iran was intimately tied into international terrorist networks if not as a motor of change than as an enthusiastic enabler) that Iran was going to be under the U.S. microscope. The question is whether Bush’s statement is a pro forma warning reflecting a government’s usual contingency plans or a signal as some believe that something is already on the drawing boards and is being slowly implmented now.