Sunday, March 18, 2012

U.S. warns Iran against making "gross misjudgment"   2012-03-18 04:13:37             
WASHINGTON, March 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey has warned Iranian leaders that they would suffer the consequences if they make "a gross misjudgment" of American will on preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, the American Forces Press Service reported Saturday.
During an interview with the Public Broadcasting Service, Dempsey said that while Iran operates on its own internal logic, that doesn't mean Iranian leaders will be reasonable.
The top U.S. military officer was responding to the criticism of his previous statement made during a recent hearing at the Congress, where he said that the Iranian regime was "rational."
"Rational meant to me that there is an evident pattern of behavior that this regime has followed since the Islamic Revolution that, first and foremost, expresses their intention to remain in power and to preserve the regime," he said. "Based on that, there are some things that we know they will respond to. That's a rational actor."
Dempsey cited former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who was toppled by the U.S. invasion in 2003, as an example. Saddam, also "a rational actor," acted with his own logic and made a gross misjudgment of American will, he noted.
The Iranians may find themselves in the same boat, and "they could get it wrong and suffer the consequences," Dempsey said.
He downplayed the differences between the U.S. and Israel, which regards a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat, on dealing with Iranian nuclear crisis. The two sides disagree only " in terms of time" rather than "in terms of intent," he said.
Dempsey reiterated that the U.S. still wants to give economic sanctions and diplomatic pressures time to work, without taking any options off the table in its attempt to prevent a nuclear- armed Iran.
The top U.S. general refused to elaborate on how long the U.S. will wait for the sanctions to work. "It's time not necessarily measured in terms of months or years, but in terms of our ability and capability to collect intelligence, to see if they cross any thresholds," he said.

WASHINGTON, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government on Thursday denied that its Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had asked Russia to warn Iran that the potential nuclear talks with world powers is its "last chance" for diplomacy.  Full story
WASHINGTON, March 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama might have seemingly failed to secure a promise from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to refrain from attacking Iran, but he probably bought some time to let diplomacy and sanctions take effect, U.S. analysts said.
The two leaders met at a time of heightened global concern over Iran's nuclear program. Western powers have accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons, while Tehran claims its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.  Full story
TEHRAN, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday that the new round of nuclear talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany (G5+1) will start "soon."
Mehmanparast told reporters in his weekly press briefing that a number of countries have announced to host the talks, but the decisions on the venue and time have not been finalized yet. Full story

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