A Tacit Message to Israel Not to Move Ahead With Military Strike
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today economic sanctions against Iran are increasingly effective and urged that diplomacy and economic pressure be given more time to work. The Secretary’s comments are considered a tacit message to the Israelis not to move ahead with a military strike on Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called the sanctions useless. Panetta’s comments seemed to be a response to Netanyahu.
“These sanctions are having a serious impact in terms of the economy of Iran,” Panetta said. “While the results of that may not seem obvious at the moment,” the Iranians had expressed a willingness to negotiate, and that they “continue to seem interested in trying to find a diplomatic solution,” Panetta added. “What we all need to do is continue the pressure on Iran.” (New York Times, 30 July)Secretary Panetta will be in Israel on Tuesday and Wednesday to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.