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Iran Says US Waging Psychological Warfare in Nuclear Dispute

Iran is accusing the United States of waging psychological warfare, following media reports saying the Bush administration is studying options for military strikes to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear program.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said any U.S. plans stem from America's "anger and helplessness."

In today's Sunday's editions, The Washington Post newspaper quotes current and former U.S. defense officials as saying a Pentagon study of military options is part of a coercive diplomacy to get Iran to end its nuclear fuel program. The report also says no U.S. attack appears likely in the short term.

In a separate report citing unnamed sources, The New Yorker magazine says the Bush administration has increased clandestine activities inside Iran as well as planning for possible air strikes.

U.S. officials have said the administration is working on a diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue, although no options have been ruled out.

Washington accuses Iran of using its nuclear program as a cover for developing an atomic bomb. Iran insists its nuclear intentions are peaceful.

The New Yorker report also quotes a former U.S. official as saying President Bush views Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as "a potential Adolf Hitler."

Iran's decision in January to restart its nuclear uranium enrichment program, prompted Britain, France and Germany to break off more than two years of negotiations with Tehran. The Europeans then backed a U.S. demand to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council, which can impose sanctions if it finds Iran' nuclear program violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.