Panetta’s encouraging words fail to soothe nervous Netanyahu
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Panetta’s encouraging words fail to soothe nervous Netanyahu

Tel Aviv : Israel | Aug 01, 2012 at 10:48 PM PDT
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Is Israel Again Weighing an Attack on Iran's Nuclear Facilities?

After Israel’s impatience and extreme concerns about Iran’s progress on its nuclear program, the U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta visited the Jewish state on Wednesday and stressed that the U.S. has the option of launching military strike against Iran if economic sanctions fail to put an end to its nuclear program-- an attempt to encourage a nervous Israel during his journey to Tel Aviv.

“We have options that we are prepared to implement to ensure that that does not happen,” Mr. Panetta said, according to the NY Times. “My responsibility is to provide the president with a full range of options, including military options, should diplomacy fail.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the impression of not being satisfied with Panetta’s talk, saying U.S. proclamations of unity with Israel and indications at military attacks are not working to persuade Tehran that the West is serious in what it says.

Panetta’s Israel visit came after new fears in the Obama administration that Israel might be getting ready for an independent military attack on Iran, possibly as early as this fall. Moreover, Republican presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited the Jewish state and made the Obama administration’s Iran policy a campaign issue, saying that “any and all measures” should be reflected on to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The public show of annoyance by Netanyahu demonstrates the rising damage in the U.S.-Israeli ties over the subject of Iran's nuclear program. However, U.S. officials are hopeful that Israel has no plans on the cards to launch military strike and may perhaps give the U.S. a lead position in any forthcoming attack on Iran.

“Right now the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program,' Netanyahu said, according to Daily Mail. “This must change, and it must change quickly because time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out.”

U.S. security authorities and experts in Israel think that the Jewish state does not possess a bomb with magnitude enough to break in Tehran’s underground uranium-enrichment amenities; therefore, a unilateral attack would only reverse Iran’s nuclear program by only one or two years, at most. The United States, in comparison, has the armaments, stealth aircrafts, bomb launchers, missiles and drones that would set wide-ranging dent to Iran’s nuclear facilities.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel
Jennifer Rees is based in Seattle, Washington, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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