Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last week provided the clearest signal to date that the U.S. military is preparing to strike Iran to cut off covert supplies of weapons to Iraqi insurgents.
Mullen told reporters April 25 that “I'm extremely concerned about what I believe to be an increasingly lethal and malign influence by that government and the Qods Force in particular in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.”
Military sources said pressure is mounting on military commanders to take action against Iran for the arms supplies, as U.S. casualties from the arms continue to mount.
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Mullen said recent events in Basra revealed new shipments of Iranian explosives, including very deadly explosively formed projectiles showing “just how much and just how far Iran is reaching into Iraq to foment instability.”
“The Iranian government pledged to halt such activities some months ago. It's plainly obvious they have not. Indeed, they seem to have gone the other way,” Mullen said.
Mullen said the focus of military operations remains on the threat posed by the arms influx in Iraq. However, Mullen warned: “while all options certainly remain open, I'm convinced the solution right now still lies in using other levers of national power, including diplomatic, financial and international pressure.”