`The White House on Sunday sought to dampen the idea of a U.S. military strike on Iran, saying the United States is conducting “normal defense and intelligence planning” as President Bush seeks a diplomatic solution to Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.
Administration officials — from President Bush on down — have left open the possibility of a military response if Iran does not end its nuclear ambitions. Several reports published Sunday said the administration was studying options for military strikes; one account raised the possibility of using nuclear bombs against Iran’s underground nuclear sites.
Britain’s foreign secretary called the idea of a nuclear strike “completely nuts.”‘
`The Bush administration has sent undercover forces into Iran, and has stepped up secret planning for a possible major air attack on the country, according to the renowned US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.
While publicly advocating diplomacy to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, Hersh reports in the next issue of The New Yorker magazine that “there is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush’s ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change”.’