Former Pentagon chief and CIA director Leon Panetta has threatened Iran with “military force,” saying threats of using military force against Iran are necessary to “back up” US policy.
Addressing the annual meeting of the pro-Israeli Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Thursday night in New York City, Panetta said although Washington “has implemented unprecedented sanctions and pressure on Iran, we may very well have to use military force to back up our policy.”
He also said that the US has “no friend, no better ally in the world than Israel.”
Panetta’s remarks were made as National Director of the ADL Abraham Foxman said during Thursday’s meeting that the Tel Aviv regime cannot count on the US over Iran any more.
Foxman said Washington “cannot be counted on” as it “seems desperate to avoid confrontation with Iran and the Iranians.”
While some anti-Iran US senators push for more illegal sanctions against Iran, in a closed-door briefing on Thursday, senior White House officials, including Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, urged a number of senators to hold off on a new package of sanctions on Iran.
Obama administration officials did not sway every senator who participated in the meeting, but the Senate Banking Committee would reportedly delay plans for drafting a new sanctions bill next week.
Iran held talks with the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany in Geneva over its nuclear energy program earlier this month. The two sides are set to meet again in Geneva on November 7-8.
The US, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran categorically rejects the allegation, arguing that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), its people’s rights to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, including enrichment, must be respected.