General Martin Dempsey

The top U.S. military commander says his forces are prepared for a mission against Iran if one proves necessary.

U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey told CNN that the military option with regard to Iran is “executable if necessary” but it would be “a tragedy for the region and the world.”

He added that the Obama administration is “examining a range of options” with regard to Iran.

The United States has repeatedly insisted that all options are on the table in its determination to stop Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability.

Iran, however, denies having any military ambitions in its nuclear program.

General Dempsey also touched on the recent loss of a U.S. drone in Iranian territory, saying that would not put an end to U.S. efforts to collect information on what is happening in Iran.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently said that Iran is one year away from developing a nuclear bomb.

There are reports that U.S. intelligence has stepped up its efforts to collect information from the Middle East using unmanned drones. In November, Iranian authorities announced the arrest of 15 suspected spies.

In the past week, Iranian national television has aired the “confessions” of a U.S. citizen of Iranian descent, who admitted to having been trained by U.S. forces in Afghanistan to carry out espionage missions in Iran.