The White House is considering whether to further pressure Iran by adding to the naval fleet already stationed in the Gulf region. The carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower and four other ships and submarines already present could be joined by at least one additional carrier in this dicey bid to rattle Tehran.

Guardian via Common Dreams:

Outgoing U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said [Tuesday] that military intervention in Iran would be “unwise and disastrous,” as the Security Council debated a resolution that would impose sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear programme. “I believe that the council, which is discussing the issue, will proceed cautiously and try and do whatever it can to get a negotiated settlement,” he said.

The latest draft resolution would order all countries to ban the supply of specified materials and technology that could contribute to Iran’s nuclear programmes.

Reports that the U.S. is leaning towards an even stronger posture against Iran reflect indications that Washington wants to deepen its military presence in the region. It follows warnings from Saudi Arabia that it would fund Sunni militias in Iraq in the event of a U.S. troop withdrawal. “The aircraft carrier is a way of assuring the Saudis that the inclination is to do more rather than less, and that we are not going to leave them in the lurch,” said John Pike, a military analyst.

The tougher posture on Iran and a temporary troop surge in Iraq would both run counter to the findings of the Iraq Study Group earlier this month, which recommended a withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq by early 2008, and the opening of diplomatic talks with Iran and Syria.

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