"I'm quite sure of that", he said reaffirming his earlier statement that US army units have been actively conducting intelligence operations in Iran identifying possible targets for missile attacks.
"It is not special operations units. It is regular combat troops", emphasized S. Hersh saying that US servicemen "are already there" (in Iran).
"We are not disclosing where exactly they are or what they are doing, for we don't want anybody to get hurt, but they are there, and the American public should know it, as the Iranian government, I can assure you, knows about it", said S. Hersh.
He also confirmed that, according to his information, one of the options being considered by the US military-political leadership in Washington is the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran's underground facilities.
S. Hersh stressed that, according to his information, the US President was psychologically prepared to give orders to deal a preemptive strike against Iran.
"I hear the word 'messianism' in the White House", says the journalist, noting that President Bush "thinks he is the only person now capable of doing it".
"Politically he is free, and I don't think he is particularly worried by the 2006 elections to Congress. I think if he decides that he stands a chance, for him it will be his mission", said the US journalist. He is quite certain, he said, that the preparation of American strikes against Iran has already passed the stage of "planning for emergencies" and is now "at the operational stage".
"No decision has been made yet, there has been no alert order or execution order, but the planning has been much more intensive and much more specific", said S. Hersh noting that it was anyone's guess what the US administration would do.
"Nobody can tell what may happen in the future, but I must tell you that there are people in the Pentagon and among our allies interacting with us at a diplomatic level – the French, Germans and British who are just wondering what the President thinks", concluded Seymour Hersh.