Making it crystal clear to Iran, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday that the United States is preparing for "potential military courses of action" against it if Tehran does not stop aiding insurgents in Iraq and fails to stop building nuclear weapons.
Admitting that a third conflict in the region would be "extremely stressing" for America's military, he warned Iran that it was mistake to suggest the United States did not have the resources to strike Iranian military targets.
"I have reserve capability, in particularly our Navy and our Air Force, not just there, but available globally,'' Mullen said. "There are lots of potential military courses of action.''
Mullen made similar comments about the Pentagon's ability strike Iran last November.
"From a military standpoint, there is more than enough reserve to respond if that, in fact, is what the national leadership wanted to do, and so I don't think we're too stretched in that regard," he said then.
Mullen's comments, made during a Pentagon press conference, are aligned with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus, both of whom have stepped up the pressure on Iran. Gates said last week that Iran is "hell-bent" in acquiring nuclear weapons.
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