Washington, Jan.28 (ANI): The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, has said that using military force against Iran remains an option, though it would be a "last resort."
He told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that while he placed emphasis on engagement with Iran, particularly when it came to Afghanistan, he was also in favour of stricter UN resolutions to block Iran's weapons smuggling abilities.
In a rare press conference with the foreign media Tuesday, he alluded to a recent US interception of a ship sailing under a Cypriot flag with weapons that America believed had come from Iran and were heading toward Syria, "where we think they will get in the next day or so."
That was because, while American forces could board the ship, they could not seize the weapons under current international law, Admiral Mullen said.
The situation, he said, spoke to "the need to have stronger resolutions, particularly in a case like this, where Iran has clearly violated a United Nations Security Council resolution," a reference to previous restrictions on Iranian weapons transfers.
He described Iran as "unhelpful in many, many ways, in many, many areas, and so I wouldn't be overly optimistic at this point" when it comes to engagement. However, he still said that course of action remained an important avenue to pursue.
As far as Afghanistan was concerned, he said the situation there was bad and in urgent need of reversal.
But he added, "The issue of Iran developing nuclear weapons is still of great concern to me. I consider that possibility to potentially be very destabilizing in a region that doesn't have much stability right now."
When asked by the Post about the potential for military action and whether the US had changed its stance with the new leadership coming into office, Mullen replied, "I don't think the new administration has taken any options off the table, including military force."(ANI)