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US preparing to safeguard Persian Gulf nuke assets if Israel attacks Iran

Washington, Sat, 14 Jan 2012 ANI

Washington, Jan 14(ANI): The United States is preparing to safeguard its facilities in Persian Gulf over fears that Israel will attack Iran sooner than later.


Officials said the military is preparing for various possible responses to an Israeli strike, including assaults by pro-Iranian Shiite militias in Iraq against the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.


The U.S. has stationed 15,000 troops in Kuwait, and moved a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf, The Wall Street Journal reports.


It has also sped up the transfer of arms to its Gulf allies, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia as a further deterrent.


The move comes in the wake of escalating tensions between Iran and the US over the former's announcement of enriching its uranium programme at the Fordow facility, and after the shutdown of Israel's nuclear plant near Dimona, which had sparked fears ofthe repositioning of the country's nuclear assets.


US President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top officials have also warned Israeli leaders about facing the dire consequences if they strike.


The U.S. wants Israel to give more time for imposing sanctions on Iran for compelling it to abandon alleged nuclear build-up.


But both Israel and the US have declined to rule out a strike on Iran if the latter fails comply with their demands.


"It is the policy of the Israeli government, and the Obama administration, that all options remain on the table. And it is crucial that the ayatollahs in Tehran take this policy seriously," Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren said.


Israeli officials said their government is working closely with the U.S. to counter Iranian nuclear threat.


Some American intelligence officials said Israel represents a blind spot in U.S. intelligence, because it devotes little resources to Israel. (ANI)


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