Republicans raise rhetoric on Iran
ABC News / Eleanor Hall

ELEANOR HALL: Let's go now to the United States where there's a push for tougher action on Iran which the government accuses of orchestrating a failed plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington.

The Obama administration has already imposed sanctions, but a Republican-controlled congressional committee heard testimony calling for a range of covert operations against Iran, as North America correspondent Jane Cowan reports.

JANE COWAN: It was a panel of neo-conservatives known for their hardline positions, and they didn't hold back. The retired army general Jack Keane stopped short of calling for military action, but did say this about Iran's Quds Force, which is accused of masterminding the foiled plot.

JACK KEANE: Why don't we kill them? We kill other people who are running terrorist organisations against the United States. These guys have killed almost 1000 of us. Why don't we kill them?

JANE COWAN: General Keane told the hearing of two key homeland security subcommittees that Iranians had been "systematically killing" Americans for more than 30 years, from the 1983 bombing of the American embassy in Lebanon to the arming of Shiah militia blamed for killing US troops in Iraq.

JACK KEANE: If continue the half measures of the past, the Iranians will continue to kill us, will continue to sponsor terrorism, and use their proxies against our interests and will continue to pursue nuclear weapons.

The next nightmare t... >>>

recommended by Shifteh Ansari