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US military strike on Iranian nuclear installations possible -- official

By Nusaiba bin Shaibah KUWAIT, Nov 19 (KUNA) -- A US official did not rule out possibility of launching a preventive military strike against Iranian nuclear installations in the first half of 2008.
At a seminar organized by the Kuwaiti Economic Society, late on Sunday, Joshua Muravchik, member of the US Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion, added that Iran seeks to gain full power in the Middle East by developing its nuclear weapon and in particular the nuclear bomb and will not hesitate to use it against any party that threatens its interests.
He said Washington monitored Iran's support for terrorist parties in Iraq from both the Sunni and Shiite tribes, adding that most of the US forces killed and injured during the war were with Iranian weapons.
Iran supports Taliban in Afghanistan by providing it with trucks loaded with weapons and it also backs Hamas's takover of the Palestinian leadership in Gaza, he continued to say.
In response to a KUNA question on his evaluation of the democratic institutes' progress in the Middle East, he said he witnessed great development in the constitutional monarchies systems.
He said a country is considered democratic if it holds free elections, is ruled by law, advocates freedom of speech and press and men and women are represented equally in the state's various departments.
Muravchik added that wars and revolutions will never promote democracy and Iraq was a major exception. The gradual transitional operations in the ruling constitutional monarchy or other systems in the region are the main tool to implement democracy.
Muravchik has written many political books and is currently writing a book titled "Democrats in the Middle East". (end) nbs.hm KUNA 191219 Nov 07NNNN