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Rumsfeld says military force an option against Iran

The New York Post | HOLLY M. SANDERS | February 7 2006

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the United States does not rule out using military force against Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons.

"All options, including the military one, are on the table," Rumsfeld said in an interview with Monday's edition of German financial newspaper Handelsblatt.

"Today, biological, chemical and radiological weapons are available which could kill tens of thousands of people," Rumsfeld said, in comments in German.

"There is a genuine possibility that these weapons could fall into the hands of people who behead innocent people and blow up children.

"The people of the free world must realize that they have been warned."

Rumsfeld said Iran must be prevented from developing a nuclear weapon.

"We know that terrorists are desperately seeking ever more deadly weapons.

"Iran is the main sponsor of terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and Hamas," he told Handelsblatt.

The Iranian nuclear crisis escalated on Saturday when the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, voted to report the Islamic republic to the UN Security Council over its atomic programme.

Iran said on Monday that large-scale uranium enrichment work, which is the the focus of fears that it is seeking nuclear weapons, would begin in "due course" in response to the IAEA decision.

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