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US Commander Denies Attack on Iran Soon
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Visiting commander of US Central Command Admiral William J. Fallon on Thursday denied an attack on Iran soon, saying that the Iranian issue should be solved through diplomatic channels.

Fallon made the denial to reporters after his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt's Red Sea resort Sharmel-Sheikh, the official MENA news agency reported here.

Asked whether the United States would attack Iran soon, especially as Washington beefed up military presence in the Gulf region recently, the top U.S. officer gave a negative answer.

"Washington already had its hands full in Iraq and Afghanistan," he explained.

Talking on the Iranian nuclear issue, Fallon told the reporters that Iran should be convinced through diplomatic channels that seeking to possess nuclear weapons is not a good idea.

He, meanwhile, expressed that the United States in general does not encourage nuclear proliferation in the Middle East region and is keen on maintaining the peace and security of the region.

Enhanced military nuclear capabilities of countries in the region would be counterproductive and even unwarranted, he said, while being asked about the danger posed by Israel's nuclear weapons to regional security and stability in light of the U.S. hardline stance towards the Iranian nuclear program.

The U.S. stance towards Tehran is as clear and firm as that of UN member states, Fallon said, accusing Iran of pursuing a program leading to producing nuclear weapons, which were "Gulf leaders' concerns about Iran's intentions".

Tehran has denied the allegation.

Fallon's visit to Egypt is part of his first regional tour since he assumed post last month succeeding General John P. Abizaid.

He has already visited Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, where he met with the countries' leaders and top officials to listen to their views on regional issues and discussed bilateral cooperation with them.
(Xinhua News Agency April 7, 2007)


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