Panetta: Iran Months Away From Nukes, Obviously a US and Israeli Redline
“Despite the efforts to disrupt the Iranian nuclear program, they have reached a point where they can assemble a bomb in a year or potentially less,” said US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in a CBS interview, he added: “That’s a red line for us and that’s a red line, obviously for the Israelis. If we have to do it we will deal with it.”
In a speech to the Brookings Institute less than two months ago Panetta warned Israeli leaders against a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities for fear it wouldn’t really work, and it could disrupt the world economy. He had stated then that the US redline was Iran disrupting world oil shipments.
This all falls on the heels of some very interesting meetings around the globe that happened this week. The first being between the US President, Barack Obama and the Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. It was said during those meeting the primary talk was about how to deal with Iran.
The second meeting involved Panetta himself and Turkish Military leaders where talks focused on a two front war with Iran and Syria.
Israeli Intelligence website Debka, lists six areas where the Obama Administration is seen as being headed towards military intervention and away from sanctions.
1. Panetta is no longer referring to estimates that Iran is 3-4 years away from the Bomb and now acknowledges that they are less than a year away.
2. During the interview he made reference to underground enrichment facilities which intimate that he believes they are accelerating enrichment in secure environments.
3. He is no longer warning Israel against attacking Iran and even appears to be back a military solution to the problem of Iran’s “unacceptable” nuclear progressions.
4. It seems as if the US sees a nuclear arms race beginning to build in the Middle East. Earlier this month former Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal said that if Israel and Iran have nukes, they will have to have them also. Turkish leaders have been indicating also that if Iran has a nuclear weapon, so too will Turkey.
5. Iran’s capture of the American RQ-170 stealth drone shows the US that Iran is on a war footing and so the US should not let it keep acting this way.
6. The death of the North Korean leader Kim Jong II could potentially lead to Pyongyang stepping up its involvement in Iran’s nuclear weapon and missile development programs.
Now is the time to see if the world will stand idly by and let Iran get the bomb?