US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta today told the CBS program “60 Minutes” that Iran could develop a nuclear bomb in about a year and create the means for delivery in a further two or three years. The secretary reiterated US position to halt the effort.
“The consensus is that, if they (Iran) decided to do it, it would probably take them about a year to be able to produce a bomb and then possibly another one to two years in order to put it on a deliverable vehicle of some sort in order to deliver that weapon,” Panetta said. [CBS/AFP, 30 January].
“The United States – and the president’s made this clear –does not want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon,” Panetta added. “That’s a red line for us. And it’s a red line obviously for the Israelis so we share a common goal here.”
Panetta warned that the US “will take whatever steps are necessary to stop it” if Washington receives intelligence that Iran is proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon.