Wednesday, March 07, 2012

No War of Choice With Iran: Retired US Officials Tell Obama

No war of choice with Iran: Retired US officials to Obama

Tue Mar 6, 2012 6:17PM GMT

Several former US military and intelligence officials have urged President Barack Obama to ‘resist pressure to attack Iran over its nuclear energy program.’

The high-level American officials took out a full page advertisement titled “Mr. President: Say No to a War of Choice with Iran” in The Washington Post on March 5, reported on Monday.

Retired Army Major General Paul Eaton, former deputy director of US National Intelligence for Analysis Thomas Fingar, retired Marine General Joseph Hoar, former CIA National Intelligence Officer Paul Pillar and retired Army Major General Rudolph Ostovich III were among the officials whose names appeared on the page.

The ad states that “not every challenge has a military solution” and “unless we or an ally is attacked, war should be the option of last resort.”

It also contains quotations by current and former senior US officials, including US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, explaining why attacking Iran is the wrong move.

The advertisement was sponsored by the National Iranian American Council, a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington.

The US and Israel have been escalating the war rhetoric on Iran during the past few months, claiming that Tehran seeks to produce nuclear weapons under the cover of its peaceful nuclear energy program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran's nuclear energy program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.

On March 2, US President Obama threatened Iran with a military strike over the country’s nuclear energy program, telling the Atlantic magazine that the US is “not taking any option off the table.”

Iran has denied Western allegations, promising a crushing response to any military strike against the country. Tehran has also warned that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.

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