U.S. Prepares ‘New Options’ To Attack Iran, Deploys Second Carrier To Persian Gulf

The Bush administration deployed a second aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf on Tuesday to serve as a “reminder” to Iran, in the words of Defense Secretary Robert Gates. When asked whether the Pentagon was preparing military strikes, Gates said, “No.”

But, CBS News reported last night that the Pentagon is developing new “options” for attacking Iran:

A second American aircraft carrier steamed into the Persian Gulf today as the Pentagon ordered military commanders to develop new options for attacking Iran. Planning is being driven by what one officer called the “increasingly hostile role” Iran is playing in Iraq — smuggling weapons into Iraq for use against American troops.

CBS’s David Martin said that, while “no attacks are imminent and the last thing the Pentagon wants is another war,” the U.S. has identified two key targets inside Iran that it is prepared to strike: 1) the plants where weapons being exported to Iraq are made and 2) the headquarters of the Quds Force.

This week, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is expected to confront Iran with with evidence of their meddling and demand a halt. If these talks don’t produce results, Martin reported, “the State Department has begun drafting an ultimatum that would tell the Iranians to knock it off — or else.” Watch it:

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The carrier that has been dispatched to the Persian Gulf is the USS Abraham Lincoln — the same ship aboard which Bush declared “Mission Accomplished.”

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