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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora