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December 21, 2011
Panetta says Iran will not be allowed to develop nukes
What exactly is he talking about? Iran has been developing nukes for years and now has the capability to produce one. Is he saying we're going to wait until they have actually constructed a bomb?
CBS News interview with Scott Pelley:
Pelley: So are you saying that Iran can have a nuclear weapon in 2012?
Panetta: It would probably be about a year before they can do it. Perhaps a little less. But one proviso, Scott, is if they have a hidden facility somewhere in Iran that may be enriching fuel.
Pelley: So that they can develop a weapon even more quickly...
Panetta: On a faster track....
Pelley: Than we believe....
Panetta: That's correct.
Pelley: If the Israelis decide to launch a military strike to prevent that weapon from being built, what sort of complications does that raise for you?
Panetta: Well, we share the same common concern. The United States does not want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. 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.
Pelley: You just said if we have to do it we will come and do it. What is it?
Panetta: If they proceed and we get intelligence that they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon then we will take whatever steps necessary to stop it.
That they are developing a nuclear weapon is not in dispute. Even the IAEA says they probably are. "Whatever steps necessary to stop it" has to mean military action because we've tried everything short of that to no avail.
And that's the first time that Israel hasn't been warned not to use force. Panetta simply says "We will deal with it."
Put the drone crash - or hijacking - in this context and you suddenly have some dots that could connect revealing preparations for a strike.
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