News / Middle East

Panetta, Israeli Leaders Warn Iran

VOA NewsLuis Ramirez
JERUSALEM — U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Israeli leaders on Wednesday warned Iran that time is running out to resolve disputes over its controversial nuclear program.
 
Speaking at a press conference in Jerusalem with the visiting Pentagon chief, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said international sanctions aren't changing Iran's path toward development of nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear aims are peaceful.
 
"You recently said that sanctions on Iran are having a big impact on the Iranian economy, and that is correct," Netanyahu told Panetta. "But unfortunately it is also true that neither sanctions nor diplomacy have yet had any impact on Iran's nuclear weapons program.
 
"You yourself said a few months ago that when all else fails, America will act," Netanyahu added. "But these declarations have also not yet convinced the Iranians to stop their program. However forceful our statements, they have not convinced Iran that we are serious about stopping them."
 
Panetta's Warning
 
Earlier, Panetta said U.S. patience with Iran is running thin.
 
"They have a choice to make," he said during a visit to a missile defense battery in the southern port town of Ashkelon with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
 
"They can either negotiate in a way that tries to resolve these issues and has them abiding by international rules and requirements and giving up their effort to develop their nuclear capability," Panetta said. "But if they don't, and if they continue to make the decision to proceed with a nuclear weapon ... we have options that we are prepared to implement to ensure that does not happen."
 
Before landing in Israel late Tuesday, Panetta denied reports that meetings with Israeli leaders would cover potential plans for a preemptive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
 
“I think it's the wrong characterization to say that we're going to be discussing potential attack plans," he said. "What we are discussing is various contingencies of how we respond.”
 
Panetta said the United States and Israel are doing everything they can to have the "strongest defense" and protect both countries, adding the two countries have a "very close friendship."
 
Barak said the Israel-U.S. relationship is solid.
 
"The defense ties between Israel and the United States are stronger and tighter than they have ever been, and the credit now has to go, most of it, to you, Leon," Barak said as he greeted Panetta at the Israeli defense headquarters.
 
Panetta's visit also includes talks with Israeli President Shimon Peres.
 
Panetta arrived in Israel from Egypt, where he met with newly elected President Mohamed Morsi.
 
Before stopping in Cairo, the U.S. defense secretary visited Tunisia - the site of the first Arab Spring popular uprisings last year, and praised what he said was the country's peaceful transition to democracy.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Stewart McLeagh from: UK
August 02, 2012 4:34 PM
we all know where Islam leads... it is going to be a war, whether we like it or not... I have been staunched anti war ever since i can remember (I am 64) but the more I read the more I see what is going on in my own country, the more i realize the necessity of defeating this Islamic cancer that was allowed to infect Europe... its ironic, but our freedom and security is at the hands of tiny Israel; I wish her well and Godspeed - truly incredible people

by: Daniel Mariscal from: Gualala, California, USA
August 02, 2012 4:02 PM
instead of imposing arbitrary timelines, Israel should say, "Hey Iran, let's discard old arguments and work out something that will benefit future Generations of our people. Future generations of the World's people."

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 02, 2012 10:35 AM
Very interesting here is the way Barak hit the nail on the head: "The defense ties between Israel and the United States..., and the credit now has to go... to you, Leon." This is a better address than 'we can't say what we mean or want to say 'because we're in election year''. USA knows its friends, immigrants - legal or otherwise - who find themselves in position of authority do not, or may even work against it, because they have come from enemy territories. USA needs to be reclaimed from such hateful people, otherwise wrong policies will continue to evolve from them, and before you know it, US loses vital friendships. But the most important reclamation of America for Americans is to return her to God to fulfill the dreams of the founding fathers of a once known GOD'S OWN COUNTRY.

by: Anonymous
August 02, 2012 1:06 AM
Assad will lose and so will Iran. Once the dust is settled people in both countries will live in harmony and peace.

by: Human Right from: Boulder, Mt
August 02, 2012 12:18 AM
As noted many, many times by the CIA and other agencies, Iran has no nukes nor does it want any. Israel has nuclear weapons and Israel attacks other countries on a continuum; it is a war machine bent on taking over the world. So why aren't we placing sanctions upon Israel and forcing them to abide by international law>
In Response

by: mk2197 from: Montana
August 02, 2012 1:54 PM
Did you seriously type Iran doesn't want a nuclear weapon? They've said over and over the developement is for "peaceful reasons" while their mini dictator threatens to "wipe Israel off the map" Even the US acknowledges Israel has right to defend itself.
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 02, 2012 11:00 AM
Israel may have nuke, but she has not been a threat to anyone, not even Iran which makes all effort to destroy her. Israel has never said that any country has no right to exist; Israel has never threatened to wipe any country or people(s) out of the map. Israel is a deeply religious state, yet has not forced anyone to adopt its religion or deny them rights because they live their lives their own way. Comparing Israel and Iran is like comparing light and darkness. Saying Israel attacks... continuum is a mere boast of dictum and you know it's outright lie. If your allegation that Israel is war machine bent on taking over the world was true, imagine what it would take her to wipe out all Palestinians and even all of Arab countries whom it took only six days to defeat not too long ago. Israel has no such expansionist agenda but only desires to be left alone in the land God gave to them since Abraham. Give Israel back its and see if Israel is not the most amiable people in the world. But the trouble out there has denied genuine pilgrimages and worship in the Holy Land. God bless Jerusalem, the City of David.

by: LEROY PADMORE from: JERSEY CITY,NJ
August 02, 2012 12:13 AM
America have made her position clear to the Iranian,we stand with Israel our allied and friend.we will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapon.it is unacceptable and detrimental to Israeli people and also to the united states.all other option has failed,it is time for the united states and Israel to take military action.we are running out of time with Iran madness,and we need to act quick.Iran knows there is no way that she can defeat Israel,Israel is powerful then Iran.As for the united states,the eagle will always fly high.we are superior .God Bless America,Shalom to Israel
In Response

by: human from: new york
August 02, 2012 9:52 AM
and after this thoroughly patriotic rant with little thought outside of, "whatever the u.s. decides must be the correct route of action;" i hope you are the first and only soldier to fight in this potential war. take your god and dreams of military action and shove them up your soaring eagles ass.

by: John
August 01, 2012 4:13 PM
its beginning to sound like
its ok to kill someone "in case" they do it to you first
its ok to give life sentence or capital punishment to someone "in case" before they do something bad.
create fear in people's mind and then go for it! sounds like what Hitler did

by: Klaus Mager from: Palm Desert, CA
August 01, 2012 1:57 PM
so what would we do? Military intervention would create unpredictable consequences. Shoot down one oil tanker and the Strait of Hormuz is down, so would be our economy. We are in no position to discuss war. What we should discuss is our deficit, how to get our house in order

by: YaValioCacaWates from: USA
August 01, 2012 12:12 PM
I'm almost certain that Iran is shaking in their boots with fear this time. Have been warned for many years, yep, this will do it.

by: The Jew World Order
August 01, 2012 11:55 AM
When are we going to address ISRAEL's nuclear weapons stockpile and lack of being a signatory to the UN's treaty [Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons].

Who are the major Non-parities to the treaty? India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan.

If the U.S. goes to war on Iran, Israel will be the only country that will be decimated.
In Response

by: Anonymous
August 02, 2012 1:11 AM
Why address Israels Nuclear Weapons? They aren't threatening to take out a complete country with nuclear weapons. Iran is threatening to wipe Israel off the map with nukes and yet they don't even have them yet. Of course Iran should not have any nuclear capabilities after what their leaders say. It is too bad that both Iran and Syria have tyrants running their countries. Every Iranian I know hates their leaders and are disgusted by their governments way of thinking. The Iranian people are good, their leaders are not, and Iranians have no choice. I've been told by Iranians that the ways of thinking of the Iranian government is not the way the Iranian people feel.
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs