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Iran's nuclear installations "can be bombed": US General warns

A top US general on Sunday warned Iran that it has developed a variety of "contingency plans" apart from diplomacy and sanctions to deal with its nuclear facilities, emphasising that they "can be bombed."

world Updated: Jan 10, 2010 21:51 IST

A top US general on Sunday warned Iran that it has developed a variety of "contingency plans" apart from diplomacy and sanctions to deal with its nuclear facilities, emphasising that they "can be bombed."

Gen David Petraeus, head of US Central Command, in-charge of the Gulf region did not elaborate on the plans but he said the Pentagon has considered the impacts of any action taken there.

"It would be almost literally irresponsible if CENTCOM were not to have been thinking about the various 'what ifs' and to make plans for a whole variety of different contingencies," Petraeus was quoted as saying by CNN.

Iran's nuclear programme has become a thorn for the United States and its allies. Tehran maintains the programme is for peaceful purposes, but Washington and other Western nations fear Iran wants to acquire nuclear weapons.

Israel has called Iran's nuclear programme the major threat facing its nation.

When asked about rumours that Israel could attack Iran's facilities, Petraeus declined to comment about Israel's military capabilities. But when asked about the vulnerability of the facilities, Petraeus said Iran has strengthened the facilities and has enhanced underground tunnels.

Still, the facilities are not bomb-proof.

"Well, they certainly can be bombed," he said. "The level of effect would vary with who it is that carries it out, what ordnance they have, and what capability they can bring to bear."