Simon Tisdall

Planning for foreign wars is the Pentagon’s job. But a flurry of tough statements and alarming predictions by defence department officials about the potency and imminence of the Iranian “threat”, including the possibility of a missile strike on the US, suggests a different kind of warfare could be breaking out at home, within the Obama administration itself.

The looming battle is shaping up as a contest between those who believe Barack Obama’s carrot and stick policy can still induce Tehran to abandon its alleged nuclear weapons-related activities; and those who, despairing of diplomacy and sanctions, are beginning to speak in favour of a more directly confrontational approach.

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