U.S. military too stretched to attack Iran - Saeedi
Fri Mar 9, 2007 7:56 PM IST


MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States is in no position to launch a military strike on Iran because its armed forces are tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan, a senior Iranian official said on Friday.

Asked on a visit to Moscow about speculation that Washington could use force to disrupt Tehran's nuclear programme, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency Mohammad Saeedi said: "I think this issue is not true.

"The United States is not in the position (where it) can attack Iran," he said in an interview with Russia's Vesti-24 news channel.

"We think the United States should resolve the Iraq situation and the same (in) Afghanistan and then think about other matters."

Washington suspects Iran is using its civilian nuclear programme as a cover for efforts to build a nuclear weapon. Tehran says it has no such plans.

The United States says it is committed to a diplomatic solution but has declined to rule out using force.

Saeedi was speaking a day before a conference in Baghdad on stabilising Iraq which will be attended by Iraq's neighbours, including Iran, and by U.S. officials.

"Iran is ready for several options and ready for any situation," Saeedi said, referring to the possibility of military action against Iran.

"But we think the best way to resolve the issue is just ... constructive and positive negotiation according to our rights and obligations."

Saeedi is in Moscow for talks about construction delays at the Bushehr nuclear power station in southwest Iran. It is being built by Russian contractors.

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