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Ahmadinejad flexes military muscle as news of secret Gates Iran memo ripples

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Vahid Salemi/AP

(Read caption) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as a rocket is paraded during army parade ceremony marking National Army Day, just outside Tehran, Iran, Sunday. Ahmadinejad extolled Iran's military might, saying the country is so powerful today that no one would dare attack it.

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In a secret three-page January memo, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates cautioned the White House that the nation lacks an effective long-term plan to deal with the continuing growth of Iran’s nuclear program, reports the New York Times.

The Gates Iran memo has sparked efforts from the White House, Pentagon, and intelligence services to provide President Obama with potential military options in the event that diplomatic actions fail.

While an official familiar with the document called it a “wake-up call,” other White House officials insist that the Obama administration has been developing different options and strategies for the past 15 months.

Meanwhile, Iran has continued its confrontational stance towards the US, with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling on the US to destroy its nuclear arsenal and withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jones: The US is ready

Speaking with The New York Times, which first reported the existence of the memo, Mr. Obama’s security adviser, Gen. James Jones did not specifically address the memo, but denied that the US government is unprepared to deal with a nuclear Iran.


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