CIA chief Porter Goss
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Is the Bush administration preparing for a strike on Iran? The United States is preparing for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and has informed NATO member states to make similar preparations, the German daily Der Spiegel reported Saturday.
Intelligence officials familiar with the Iran file, told Der Spiegel that NATO members are considering a number of options to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear technology that would allow it manufacture nuclear bombs, adding that military action was in the cards.
The newspaper said during his latest visit to Turkey, CIA head Porter Goss’s asked Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey allows the United States uses military bases in the country for an air strike on Iran planned for 2006.
“What’s new about these reports is that the United States seems to be sending top envoys to ally countries in preparation for an attack. It is no longer a matter of hints we heard over 2005,” the report said.
According to the German News Agency DDP, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Pakistan are also being updated with the plan, with American officials saying a military operation is “a possible option”, yet giving no time limit.
The newspaper said it is difficult to estimate whether the United States is in fact embracing for a military strike on Iran but quoted a New York Times report earlier this year that U.S. commando units have already infiltrated Iran to mark nuclear facilities for a possible strike.