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US ready to strike Iran, envoy to Israel says

The US has plans for a possible military attack on Iran if other measures fail to stop it developing nuclear weapons, Washington’s envoy to Israel Dan Shapiro has said.

Iran nuclear iaea BushehrEnlarge
The reactor building at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran, 750 miles south of Tehran. (Majid Asgaripour/Getty Images)

The US has plans for a possible military attack on Iran if other measures fail to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons, Washington’s envoy to Israel has said.

Addressing the Israeli Bar Association, Ambassador Dan Shapiro said that while the US hoped sanctions and diplomacy would persuade Iran to change course and Washington would not have to resort to military force, “that doesn’t mean that option is not fully available.”

He continued: “[It’s] not just available, but it’s ready. The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready.” A recording of Shapiro’s comments on Tuesday was later obtained by the Associated Press news agency.

More from GlobalPost: Iran and the nuclear double standard

The US and its allies accuse Iran of developing a nuclear bomb, but Tehran insists that its nuclear program is for purely civilian purposes. According to the BBC, Shapiro’s comments earlier this week go further than previous remarks by US President Barack Obama that all options – including military strikes – are on the table.

Talks between Iran and the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany are set to resume in Baghdad on May 23, in a bid to persuade Tehran to slow down uranium enrichment and allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to visit its nuclear facilities.

Meanwhile, US senators are considering additional legislation that would ratchet up the pressure on Iran and introduce further measures to punish foreign firms for dealing with the country in any capacity, The Daily Telegraph reports.

The measures will focus on foreign banks that handle transactions for Iran’s state oil and tanker companies. 

More from GlobalPost: Iran, IAEA begin new nuclear talks

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/120517/us-ready-strike-iran-washington-envoy-israel-says