Def Sec'y Panetta: Pressure Must Be Kept On Iran

Published February 3, 2012 2:27PM (EST)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the key to stopping Iran from getting a nuclear bomb is keeping global support for tough economic sanctions.

Speaking to US airmen in Germany, Panetta reiterated that if Iran does not change course, the US is "prepared to respond if we have to."

Panetta was responding Friday to an airman who asked at what point the United States would get involved in Israel's potential conflict with Iran. Panetta sidestepped that aspect of the Iran issue and focused on international efforts to persuade Iran to not build the bomb.

He reiterated that all U.S. options are on the table, implying the possibility of using military force.

By Salon Staff

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