Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Panetta: "we will take whatever steps necessary" to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons

(IsraelHayom).Despite efforts to thwart Tehran's nuclear program, the Iranians are likely to possess atomic weapons in a year or less, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told CBS News on Monday.

CBS News anchor Scott Pelley interviewed Panetta for a segment on the news magazine 60 minutes, during which he asked if Iran could have a nuclear weapon in 2012. "It would probably be about a year before they can do it," Panetta responded. "Perhaps a little less. But one proviso is if they have a hidden facility somewhere in Iran that may be enriching fuel."

Panetta, who has cautioned against a military strike against Iran, said the U.S. does not want Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, saying that would constitute "a red line for us and that's a red line, obviously, for the Israelis."
"If [Iran] proceeds and we get intelligence that they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon, then we will take whatever steps necessary to stop it, There are no options off the table,a nuclear Iran is unacceptable".