Netanyahu Tells Panetta US Threats Toward Iran Not Enough

The Obama administration is opting for sanctions instead of war as punishment for Iran's non-existent weapons program

by John Glaser, August 01, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said US threats of military options against Iran are not enough, suggesting the Obama administration ought to prepare for war against Iran’s imaginary nuclear weapons program.

“Right now the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program,” Netanyahu during a visit from US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

“You yourself said a few months ago that when all else fails, America will act. But these declarations have also not yet convinced the Iranians to stop their program,” he told Panetta. “This must change, and it must change quickly because time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out.”

Netanyahu was careful to refer to Iran’s “nuclear program,” rather than its nuclear weapons program – which is non-existent. Unfortunately for his case, it’s much harder to rally the West for war on Iran when they in fact have not even crossed any so-called “red lines.”

What Netanyahu and many of his Israeli counterparts can’t seem to grasp is that an attack on Iran would be most likely to push them towards reconstituting their nuclear weapons program, which was halted in back in 2003 according to both US and Israeli intelligence.

In response, Panetta reassured Netanyahu that the military option is on the table and will be used in the event that Tehran decides to go ahead and build nuclear weapons. He said: “all options” including military force are on the table to stop Iran, should sanctions and diplomacy fail.”

In the meantime, Washington is leading the way in a harsh set of international sanctions on Iran’s economy, which is largely harming the population without altering the policies of the regime. The sanctions aren’t so much punishment for any transgressions in their peaceful nuclear program as much as they are placating Israeli hawks.

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