Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Panetta: US prepared to implement "other options" to prevent nuclear Iran

JERUSALEM, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta hinted on Wednesday that the United States is prepared to implement "other options" if Iran continues to work toward attaining nuclear weapons.

"If they (Iran) continue and if they proceed with a nuclear weapon, ... we have options that we are prepared to implement to ensure that does not happen." Panetta said during a visit to an army "Iron Dome" anti-missile battery deployed near coastal Ashkelon, just north of Gaza together with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

"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," Haaretz quoted Panetta as saying.

Barak alluded to "disagreements and differences of opinion," possibly over what stage of Iranian nuclear fuel enrichment towards a bomb would constitute a "tripwire" for a separate or combined Israeli or American military strike, according to a Defense Ministry's statement sent to Xinhua. Read More