Officials in Washington are developing potential scenarios for a military strike against Iran, local media reported on Wednesday.
The news comes after Germany announced last week that it no longer supports additional sanctions against Iran.
The diplomatic backtracking by Germany, which has long been a fixture in discussions over Iran's nuclear program, has led officials in the White House to discuss alternative options for dealing with Iran, including several military strategies.
According to news reports, military options fall under two basic categories: the blockading of oil and gas exports, and full-scale aerial bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities.
However, many US policy makers are concerned that US military actions in Iran are too costly, will stretch American forces too thin, and may ultimately fan anti-American sentiment in Teheran, which would help foster popular support for outspoken Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Despite military planning, news reports say the US will continue to press for tougher, new UN sanctions against Iran when diplomats meet in Washington on Septmeber 21.
(Xinhua News Agency September 13, 2007)