Action against Iran threaten Americans: Carney

Washington: The US is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but fears that any military action against Tehran would create "greater instability" in the region and threatens safety of Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"We are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters but said …"any military action in that region threatens greater instability."

Iran borders both Afghanistan and Iraq, Carney said during his daily briefing, adding, "We have civilian personnel in Iraq, we have military personnel as well as civilians in Afghanistan."

His remarks come as the Obama Administration has said that it wants a political solution to the crisis that includes the IAEA monitoring Tehran`s nuclear programme.

"So the fact that we do have inspectors who are able to provide visibility into their programmes does not mean that they have been entirely cooperative, because they have not," Carney said.

Saying that Washington continued to ratchet pressure on Iran, Carney said …"they are subject to broad and increasing sanctions by the United States and the entire international community,"

"That pressure will continue and it has had an effect on both the economy and on the political leadership," he said.

The White House, he said, has made very clear that it is not taking any option off the table as it pursues a policy designed to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. "We believe that the policy that we`ve been pursing, unifying the international community and pressuring and isolating Tehran, creates the best opportunity for ensuring that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon," he said.

"It is the best option. And because there is time and space still to allow that option to work, we are continuing to pursue it," Carney said.

"But speculation about what we would do if this were to happen and what would trigger what response is not something I would do here from the podium, and it?s not productive to the success of our policy," he added.

Carney said the current American approach is to galvanise and mobilise 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 change its behavior.

"We believe that there is time and space to continue to pursue that approach, even as we refuse and make clear that we do not take any option off the table in our effort to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," he said.

"Our approach right now is to continue to pursue the diplomatic path that we`ve taken, combined with very aggressive sanctions, and we continue to ratchet up the pressure on Tehran," he said.

"I think it`s important to note that while Tehran does not and has not lived up to its international obligations, that it does not do the things it needs to do to demonstrate that it does not have nuclear weapons ambitions, we do have visibility into their programs and Iran has not broken out and started to pursue a weapon.

"So there is time and space to continue to pursue the policy that we have been pursuing since the President took office," Carney said.