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'All Options' Open Against Iran, Says Defense Secretary Panetta

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters today that America is ready to "exercise all options" when it comes to keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Panetta is on a five-day trip to the Middle East, where he is visiting Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. He made his comments to the media during a news conference in Tunisia.

According to the Associated Press, Panetta acknowledged that so far, international sanctions against Iran haven't been successful in stopping the country from working to develop its nuclear program.


But, while acknowledging that "all options" are on the table to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, Panetta said the sanctions need to be given more time to work:

“What we all need to do is continue the pressure on Iran economically and diplomatically. The international community must convince Iran’s leaders to take the right steps and negotiate, to stop developing nuclear weapons and to rejoin the community of nations...

“We believe the best course of action is to continue that pressure and to continue that unity to convince them to do what’s right."