While U.S. officials say they have no immediate plans to attack the facility and warn an attack by U.S. or Israeli forces could cause oil prices to skyrocket, they nonetheless contend the site is not nearly as protected as Iran claims, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Officials speaking to the Post on condition of anonymity said "bunker buster" bombs could irrevocably damage the Fordow site without having to reach its deepest point.
"Hardened facilities require multiple sorties," said a former senior intelligence official familiar with Fordow. "The question is, how many turns do you get at the apple?"
"Our approach to this has been to galvanize and mobilize the international community to make it clear that Iranian behavior is the issue, to pressure and sanction Iran for its failure to live up to its international obligations, and to ratchet up that pressure and increase the sanctions on Iran to the point where we hope Iran will -- Iran will change its behavior," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday.
"We believe that there's time and space to continue to pursue that approach, even as we, you know, refuse and make clear that we do not take any option off the table in -- in our effort to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. …
"We are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. We obviously monitor through [International Atomic Energy Agency] inspectors their nuclear programs. And there is no question that Iran has not lived up to its international obligations with regards to uranium enrichment and their level of cooperation with the IAEA," Carney said.
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