ASHKELON, Israel (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday that Iran must either negotiate acceptable limits on its nuclear program or face the possibility of U.S. military action to stop it from getting the bomb.
Panetta made his remarks outside the city of Ashkelon in southern Israel, with an "Iron Dome" anti-rocket defense system as a backdrop.
The Pentagon chief said repeatedly that "all options," including military force, are on the table to stop Iran, should sanctions and diplomacy — the preferred means of persuasion — ultimately fail.
He said he still hopes Iran will see that negotiations are the best way out of this crisis.
However, Panetta said, "If they continue and if they proceed with a nuclear weapon, ... we have options that we are prepared to implement to ensure that that does not happen." Read More