Panetta: Attacking Iran Might Have ‘Unintended Consequences’

UN Secretary-General Urges Diplomacy

Speaking at a news conference today, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta aimed at dramatic understatement when he declared that a US military attack on Iran might conceivably have some unintended consequences.

Panetta’s comments were the first inkling that any US officials, who seem otherwise overwhelmingly in favor of launching military attacks anywhere on virtually any pretext, might have at least given a second thought that attacking Iran could be unwise.

At the same time, Panetta’s awareness of the ramifications might not mean anything. His predecessor, Secretary Robert Gates, cautioned against “loose talk” about starting a war with Libya and within weeks the US was bombing the nation.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon seems also concerned about the prospect of war, insisting that the international community should consider diplomacy the “only way” to settle disputes with Iran.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.