Pentagon's backup plan places hundreds of Tomahawks near Iran
While Iran continues to deny that it is developing nuclear weapons, Washington is still concerned about the region and has now deployed approximately 430 Tomahawk missiles in the Persian Gulf.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has reported that their plan for Iran "will be successful" according to CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
In an interview between Blitzer and Panetta
, it was advised that Washington has not yet dropped its "all options stance" on Iran. The Pentagon still fears that Tehran may be building nuclear weapons.
said: “We are prepared with all options on the table if we have to respond," and added "there are plans to deal with Iran if the country does not give up its nuclear ambitions. I don’t think there is any question that if we have to implement that plan, it will be successful.”
In a practical approach, two U.S. aircraft carriers, several submarines, battle groups and additional marines will be deployed in the Gulf. Both the Pentagon and the U.S. Navy have said that the commissions are "routine".
However, Interfax news agency
said that the group, headed by the USS Enterprise, has taken at least 130 Tomahawk missiles
to the Persian Gulf.
Another group of warships led by the USS Abraham LIncoln is carrying many similar long-range cruise missiles and was last reported to be patrolling the Arabian sea. The U.S. Navy says this is to provide air support to NATO troops in Afghanistan.
Along with these ships, the submarine USS George is also in the area and is estimated to be carrying 154 Tomahawks. A second submarine which is assigned to an amphibious assault group apparently has some 12 cruise missiles on board.
This makes a total of at least 430 Tomahawks
, which have a range of 1,700 km in the waters of the Persian Gulf.
In combination, these Tomahawk missiles are able to totally take out Iran's air-defense system and to turn the country's military airfields to rubble.
While Washington says that the first round of nuclear talks with Tehran gave "positive feelings", there has been no alleviation in the sanctions imposed on Iran's economy.
Iran continues to deny that it is attempting to build nuclear weapons and stresses that it is the country's right to produce nuclear energy for power and medical needs.