The White House is preparing to extend its war to Iran.
Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for “a last resort” strike. “This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment,” said a senior Pentagon adviser. “This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months.”
Tacticians at central command and strategic command, who report to US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, have made up plans for an assault and are “identifying targets, assessing weapon loads and working on logistics for an operation”.
More than 100 US bombers, many based on carriers in the Gulf, could take part in a huge simultaneous surprise air attack on 20 key nuclear and military facilities.
George Bush has refused to rule out military action and said that Iran’s nuclear ambitions “will not be tolerated”.
According to a new report by Paul Rogers, professor of peace studies at Bradford University, the proposed attack would result in “a protracted military confrontation” involving Israel, Lebanon and some Gulf states that could result in 10,000 deaths.