Iran strike could destabilize Middle East: Pentagon

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the U.S. military was prepared for any eventuality in Iran, despite being stretched by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He pointed to potential resources in the Navy and Air Force.

"We have certainly focused on Iran for a long time and recognize ... what the potential could be," Mullen said, adding he was "very comfortable" with U.S. capabilities.

Mullen said authorities in Tehran were "on a path that has strategic intent to develop nuclear weapons and have been for some time" -- a charge Iran denies.

"I think that outcome (of a nuclear Iran) is potentially a very, very destabilizing outcome ... on the other hand, when asked about striking Iran, specifically, that also has a very, very destabilizing outcome," Mullen told a gathering at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think-tank.

Mullen said he worried about "unintended consequences" of either scenario, adding "that part of the world could become much more unstable, which is a dangerous global outcome."

Tehran already has been hit with three rounds of U.N. sanctions for refusing to comply with demands that it halt sensitive nuclear activities. The United States and its allies have said it is time for a fourth round of sanctions, but diplomats say Russia and China are resisting.


Mullen said he was closely following recent events in Iran and added that he was sure incidents of unrest wil... >>>

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