Reuters: The United States is not planning for a war with Iran and instead is trying to stop them from contributing to the violence in Iraq, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Friday. WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) – The United States is not planning for a war with Iran and instead is trying to stop them from contributing to the violence in Iraq, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Friday.
“The President has made clear, the Secretary of State has made clear, I’ve made clear … we are not planning for a war with Iran,” he told reporters.
The Bush administration has repeatedly warned Iran against fueling violence in Iraq, and U.S. forces there have detained a number of Iranian officials in raids since December.
“What we are trying to do is, in Iraq, counter what the Iranians are doing to our soldiers, their involvement and activities, particularly these explosively-formed projectiles that are killing our troops and we’re trying to get them to stop their nuclear enrichment,” Gates said.
The Pentagon has moved a second aircraft carrier into the Gulf as part of its effort to pressure Iran and show that the United States will stay active in the region.
Iran has long been at odds with the United States and Europe, pushing ahead with plans to enrich uranium as part of what Tehran says is a peaceful energy program. Washington and the others fear that Iran instead has been trying to develop nuclear weapons.