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'US can destroy Iran's nuke facility in two days'

The United States can wipe out Iran's nuclear programme in two days using bunker-buster bombs.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2006 09:24 IST

The United States can wipe out Iran's nuclear programme in two days using bunker-buster bombs and other weapons to carry out the operation, a former senior CIA operative who led the search for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in late 2001 has said.

"We can take care of it in a couple of days with air strikes and they wouldn't be able to stop us. It wouldn't be difficult to plan. There would be some dangers but I think the United States can do it," Gary Berntsen, who left the CIA in June last year after more than 20 years of service told 'The Jerusalem Post.'

"We can dig those things out. We can destroy them," Bernsten said in an interview to the daily.

The former agent believes that it will be difficult to persuade Tehran to quit its nuclear programme.

"I know the Iranians. I've worked against the Iranians for years. They are determined to get this no matter what, and they will lie and cheat and do whatever they have to do to get themselves a weapon," he said.

Berntsen also ruled out a covert action because of the scale of the nuclear programme.

"This is a huge system of facilities they have. This is not going to be a small sort of engagement. We are probably going to have to destroy 30 facilities in 30 locations. Or at least 15," he said.

Ruling out a ground operation, Bernsten said that Israel should refrain from any move to prevent Iran from achieving its goal, as it 'doesn't make political sense'.

First Published: Mar 21, 2006 09:24 IST