By Carlo Muñoz - 10/26/12 04:53 PM EDT
"Whenever we [consider] military action, we do it within the legal confines ... of this country" DOD press secretary George Little told reporters at the Pentagon Friday.
That said, the White House has continued its aggressive campaign of economic and political sanctions against the country, to force Tehran to walk away from the program.
Little pointed out that his comments were not directed at any particular country or operation, and said DOD would not speculate on "prospective legal questions" specifically tied to possible action against Iran's nuclear facilities.
His comments come amid reports that British military leaders have denied U.S. forces access to U.K. installations in the Gulf region, for fear those bases could be used to launch a pre-emptive attack against Tehran.
England recently rebuffed informal requests for access to U.K. outposts in Cypress and other territories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans by the United States, citing concerns over international violations, according to recent reports.
London was particularly concerned that allowing U.S. forces to use British bases to launch any kind of attack against Iran would expose the U.K. to violations of international rules of war.
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James Winnefeld met with Israeli counterparts in a closed-door meeting in Tel Aviv in September to hash out options on how to contain Iran's growing nuclear program.
Israel and other western powers continue to argue Iran is actively pursing a nuclear weapon, citing the country's refusal to allow international inspectors access to its facilities.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel will not hesitate to launch a preemptive attack against Iran's nuclear facilities if it becomes clear Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.
Tehran has repeatedly claimed its nuclear work is strictly focused toward developing a new energy source for the country.