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August 1, 2012 9:09 am

Netanyahu to Panetta: U.S. ‘Declarations’ Haven’t Stopped Iran

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (left) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2011. Photo: wiki commons.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in Israel on Wednesday that America “will exert all options” to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

“We will not allow [Iran] to develop a nuclear weapon, and we will exert all options in the effort to ensure that that does not happen,” Panetta said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, stressed that America’s sanctions and diplomatic efforts thus far have not had “any impact on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”

“You yourself said a few months ago that when all else fails, America will act,” Netanyahu told Panetta. “But these declarations have also not yet convinced the Iranians to stop their program. However forceful our statements, they have not convinced Iran that we are serious about stopping them. Right now the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program. This must change and it must change quickly, because time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out.”

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