"The top U.S. military commander for the Middle East is pressing Arab allies to form a more united front against Iran, seen by Washington as the region's long-term threat.
At military compounds and royal reception halls across the Persian Gulf, Adm. William Fallon is delivering personal appeals to Arab leaders to counter Iran's ambitions to expand its regional influence and move ahead with its nuclear program.
Fallon has carefully avoided publicly discussing any war contingency plans or making any direct threats against Iran, which sits in his sphere of operations. As head of U.S. Central Command, he oversees forces in Central Asia, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa.
His current 10-day trip, which began Saturday in Bahrain, was more about seeking to quietly galvanize Gulf leaders while letting others sharply escalate pressure on Tehran. On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the world should prepare for war if Iran obtains nuclear weapons.
"We are not looking for a new NATO-type alliance against Iran," Fallon told The Associated Press after talks with Bahrain's defense minister, Sheik Khalifa bin Ahmad Al Khalifa......"