Panetta Threatens Iran Attack During Israel Visit

Military Action 'an Option,' Panetta Reiterates

With the Obama Administration remaining determined to impress Israel with its hawkishness, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta continued his state visit by issuing threats for a military strike against Iran, saying it remains among the “full range of options” the US is considering.

The threat reflects the administration’s dual goals of propping up their hawkish bona fides ahead of the November elections and hoping to keep Israel from launching a unilateral attack in the near term, urging Israel to remain patient by suggesting the US will eventually get around to starting the war themselves.

Israeli officials are reportedly ‘losing patience‘ with the US on this long-standing strategy, as the US has been threatening Iran for a solid 30 years uninterrupted and Israel’s far-right government fears that this is hurting the credibility of the continued threat, while insisting threats and near weekly rounds of new sanctions are “not enough.”

Which is why, throughout Panetta’s visit, Israeli leaders have reiterated their own interest in launching an attack on Iran at any given time, while reminding Panetta that there is nothing he can do to stop them.

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.