Washington, D.C. The Bush administration is committed, for now, to using diplomatic and economic means to counter the potential nuclear threat from Iran, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday.
Speculation has persisted about preparations for a military strike against Iran for its alleged support for terrorism and its nuclear program.
Gates, in a broadcast interview, said he would not discuss "hypotheticals" about what President Bush "may or may not do."
"We always say all options are on the table, but clearly, the diplomatic and economic approach is the one that we are pursuing," he added.
The diplomatic approach takes center stage at a conference in Washington on Friday. The U.S. hosts the U.N. Security Council's four other permanent members - Britain, China, France, Russia - plus Germany to press for new penalties against oil-rich Iran.