A senior US intelligence official has admitted that if attacked, Iran will respond but is unlikely to initiate or provoke a conflict.
“Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz at least temporarily, and may launch missiles against United States forces and our allies in the region if it is attacked,” US Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program, and have used this pretext to push for international and unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
Washington and Tel Aviv have also repeatedly threatened Tehran with the “option” of a military strike over its nuclear program.
Burgess added that Iranian ballistic missiles’ reach extends over the region and central Europe, and a new space launched vehicle demonstrates progress for a potential intercontinental ballistic missile.
He admitted that despite increasing sanctions, Iran was unlikely to abandon its nuclear program.
“While international pressure against Iran has increased, including through sanctions, we assess that Tehran is not close to agreeing to abandon its nuclear program,” Burgess said.
Iranian officials have promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.
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