JOE LIEBERMAN NOW SAY U.S. PREPARING IRAN AIR STRIKE
JAN 23 2006
Sen. Joe Lieberman said Sunday that the U.S. is prepared to deal with the Iranian nuclear crisis militarily - even if the war in Iraq continues to require a substantial American troop commitment.
"We have the most powerful military in the history of the world," Lieberman told CBS's "Face the Nation."
"We are capable, if necessary, of continuing to pursue our aims militarily in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere and, if necessary, conduct a military attack on Iran."
Lieberman said the he hoped an attack on Iran, if it should come, would be carried out "with the assistance of our coalition allies in Europe."
But he noted that any assault on Iranian nuclear facilities "would be primarily an air attack.
It's not going to involve massive use of ground forces."
Asked about reports that the U.S. would let Israel take the lead in any attack against Iran, the Connecticut Democrat told CBS:
"The United States is a strong enough country that we never want to be in a position to have to essentially contract out protection of our national security, vis-a-vis Iran, to another country like Israel."
He noted also the Israelis "don't have the same aircraft capacity that we do, capable of doing it."
Lieberman said that while the military option remains a last resort for the U.S., "I want the people who lead Iran to understand that it is on the table. We deem their pursuit of nuclear weapons to be dead serious."
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