Panetta Says: US May Have To Use Military Force Against Iran

NEW YORK – While the US has “implemented unprecedented sanctions and pressure on  Iran, we may very well have to use military force to back up our policy,” Leon  Panetta said on Thursday night.

The former US defense secretary and CIA  director made the remarks while addressing around 600 people at the  Anti-Defamation League’s 100th annual meeting.

Panetta, who was receiving  the ADL’s William and Naomi Gorowitz Institute Service Award, said the US needs  to “maintain a healthy skepticism” when negotiating to suss out Iran’s true  level of commitment to negotiations over its nuclear program.

“It is the  Supreme Leader [Ali Khamenei] who is key, and he is not likely to give up  [uranium] enrichment,” Panetta warned. “We have to remain strong. We have to  remain consistent.”

Panetta reiterated the American line that the US has  “no friend, no better ally in the world than Israel,” but he expressed concern  over the “growing sense of isolationism in this country [the US]” over the last  10 years of fighting two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the shifting power  dynamics among world leaders.

“The fact remains that we live in a very  dangerous world,” he said. “We continue to have threats from North Korea as they  test nuclear weapons. We have instability and fragility in the Middle East. All  of this happens at a time when we are imperiled by gridlock in  Washington.”

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