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Week of January 31, 2007
FOCUS ON IRAN
Analyst: U.S. plans major attack on Iran
WASHINGTON - A former U.S. intelligence analyst has asserted that the Bush
administration has prepared options for a major strike against Teheran. The
analyst said the plans included a full-fledged war against Iran.
"I've seen some of the planning," said Wayne White, a leading State
Department analyst until 2005. "You're not talking about a surgical strike."
White, who served as deputy director for the State Department's Bureau of
Intelligence and Research, addressed the Washington-based Middle East Policy
Council on Jan. 19. He said the U.S. military was preparing to destroy most
of Iran's arsenal in the Gulf.
"You're talking about a war against Iran," White said. "We're not talking
about just surgical strikes against an array of targets inside Iran. We're
talking about clearing a path to the targets."
White said the U.S. military has drafted plans to destroy most of the
Iranian air force and navy. He cited such targets as Iran's Russian-origin
Kilo-class diesel submarines and anti-ship missiles deployed in the Gulf.
"I'm much more worried about the consequences of a U.S. or Israeli attack
against Iran's nuclear infrastructure," White said.
White envisioned a massive Iranian counter-strike. He said Iran would also
expand the civil war in neighboring Iraq.
Kenneth Katzman, a senior Middle East analyst at the Congressional Research
Service, said Iran has intimidated neighboring Gulf Arab states. But Katzman
said Iran does not have a powerful military.
"Iran's ascendancy is not only manageable but reversible," Katzman said. "It
is very weak and meets almost no known criteria to be considered a great
nation. Iran is a virtual non-entity. It might be useful to call that