Other options besides war if nuke deal fails: US cmdr
Navy chief of naval operations nominee says US military is supposed to use ‘all means necessary to deter' war

A top naval officer on Thursday broke from the Obama administration’s mantra that war was the only alternative if an Iran nuclear deal failed to pass Congress.

Admiral John Richardson, who is vying to become the chief of naval operations, said the major mission of the U.S. armed forces was to use "all means necessary to deter that type of war”.

Richardson comments came during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"Military contribution is also just a subset of a whole government approach, along with our allies in the region," according to Richardson, who supports the entire approach of the government that included other possibilities, he said, without providing details.

The Iranians have "considerable conventional forces,” military equipment and weapons, Richardson said. They also monitor "the Straits of Hormuz, and support terrorist organizations throughout the region," but a joint U.S. military force could deter a war by delivering a full set of capabilities, he said, but again failed to provide details.

The White House warned Congress against undermining the Iran nuclear deal signed with world powers.

Shortly after it was signed, President Barack Obama said the U.S. risked "even more war in the Middle East” without a deal.

"Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation or it’s resolved through force, through war,” the president said.

Richardson said one of the greatest dangers he expects to face, if confirmed to the new post, was the growing complexity and urgency for a security environment around the world, including "certainly, the activity in the Middle East."

Congress has begun a 60-day review period of the deal.

Obama needs the support of 34 of the 100 senators to protect his veto authority from potentially being overridden.

Congress requires a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress to override a presidential veto.

World powers and Iran spent nearly two years trying to reach the milestone agreement with successive rounds of talks being extended beyond established deadlines.

Last Modified: 2015-07-31 09:40:35
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