• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Panetta Attempts to Reassure and Restrain Israel on the Iran Nuclear Issue

    After more than three years of downplaying the military option, the Obama Administration has shifted gears and become more hawkish on the Iran nuclear issue in recent weeks.

    Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in Israel on a Middle East tour, on Wednesday called for international leaders to keep “maximum pressure” on Iran and warned that the United States “will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, period.”

    The Administration’s tougher rhetoric is in part a reflection of the fact that Iran has shrugged off international sanctions, refused to negotiate an acceptable resolution of the nuclear impasse, and continues to stockpile enriched uranium at an accelerating rate.

    Domestic politics may also be a factor. Panetta’s visit to Israel came shortly after Governor Mitt Romney’s visit. The Romney campaign has criticized the Obama Administration for “leading from behind” on Iran.

    Although the Administration has been quick to take credit for stronger sanctions on Iran, much of the impetus for sanctions has come from Congress, which has passed sanctions legislation by huge bipartisan majorities, sometimes over the objections of the Administration.

    The Administration’s sharper rhetoric is also aimed at reassuring Israel that it can depend on the U.S.to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon and therefore should hold off on launching a unilateral strike. The New York Times reported that the Administration is concerned that Israel may soon launch a preventive strike against Iran’s nuclear program.

    The Obama Administration has been criticized for appearing to be more concerned with restraining Israel than with restraining Iran’s nuclear program.

    Panetta’s tougher rhetoric is undoubtedly a welcome change in Israel. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that time is running out for international efforts to end Iran’s nuclear defiance through diplomacy. Netanyahu said, “Things that affect our fate, our very existence, we don’t entrust to others—not even to our best friends.”

    See: If Israel attacks

    Posted in Featured, Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to Panetta Attempts to Reassure and Restrain Israel on the Iran Nuclear Issue

    1. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Netanyahu is not stupid! He, as well as almost every American, should realize Panetta's mouth is moving, but it's Obama, hiding behind the curtain, making the sounds. The closer to November, the more lies and "tough rhetroic" will be spewed from the White House. In fact, don't be shocked at Obama's "October surprise" dealing with Iran, just before the election.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×