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

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora