Panetta: Iran Attack Is On the Table

He touts ties to Israel in visit with Ehud Barak
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2012 8:29 AM CDT
Panetta: Iran Attack Is On the Table
Leon Panetta, left, and Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak deliver statements to the media during a visit to an Iron Dome rocket defense shield battery, seen back, in Ashkelon, Israel, Aug. 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

"All options" are on the table when it comes to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon—including military force, Leon Panetta said today during a trip to Israel. Panetta said force was a last resort, but that if Iran persisted in its quest, "we have options that we are prepared to implement to ensure that that does not happen," the AP reports.

Panetta spoke alongside Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak in front of Israel's "Iron Dome," a defense system designed to shoot down rocket and artillery shells coming out of Gaza and southern Lebanon. "We have clearly something to lose," while the world waits for sanctions to work, Barak said, "because the Iranians are moving forward." Panetta and Barak touted US-Israeli ties—indeed, Panetta boasted that they had "probably the strongest US-Israel defense relationship that we have had in history." He also reaffirmed Israel's right to attack Iran without Washington's say-so. (More Leon Panetta stories.)

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