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US: Counter strike by Iran likely if Israel attacks it

American officials who have assessed the likely Iranian responses to any attack by Israel on its nuclear program believe that Iran would retaliate by launching missiles on Israel and terrorist-style attacks on United States civilian and military personnel overseas.
Hindustan Times | By NYT, Washington
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2012 12:07 AM IST

American officials who have assessed the likely Iranian responses to any attack by Israel on its nuclear program believe that Iran would retaliate by launching missiles on Israel and terrorist-style attacks on United States civilian and military personnel overseas.

While a missile retaliation against Israel would be virtually certain, according to these assessments, Iran would also be likely to try to calibrate its response against American targets so as not to give US a rationale for taking military action that could permanently cripple Tehran's nuclear program.

"The Iranians have been pretty good masters of escalation control," said Gen. James E. Cartwright, now retired, who as the top officer at Strategic Command and as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff participated in war games involving retaliation on potential adversaries like Iran.

The Iranian targets, General Cartwright and other American analysts believe, would include petroleum infrastructure in the Persian Gulf, and American troops in Afghanistan.

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