Panetta Cites ‘Red Lines’ Iran Should Avoid

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2012 — The nation is open to reach­ing diplo­mat­ic solu­tions with Iran, but is keep­ing all options on the table in case clear-cut “red lines” are crossed, Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta said today.

Speak­ing to mem­bers of a House Appro­pri­a­tions sub­com­mit­tee, Panet­ta said Iran is becom­ing increas­ing­ly iso­lat­ed in the world.

“The inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty has sent a very clear mes­sage,” he said. “We will not tol­er­ate this. You’ve got to change your ways. You’ve got to come into the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty. You’ve got to abide by inter­na­tion­al laws, rules and reg­u­la­tions.”

The Unit­ed States and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty share the same con­cerns, Panet­ta not­ed. First, he said, “We will not allow Iran to devel­op a nuclear weapon.”

Panet­ta said intel­li­gence reports clear­ly indi­cate that Iran con­tin­ues to devel­op its enrich­ment capa­bil­i­ty; how­ev­er, “intel­li­gence does not show they’ve made the deci­sion to pro­ceed with devel­op­ing a nuclear weapon.”

“That is the red line that would con­cern us and that would ensure the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty, hope­ful­ly togeth­er, would respond,” he said.

The inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty also will not allow Iran to close the Strait of Hor­muz, the sec­re­tary said. The strait is the only sea pas­sage to the open ocean for petro­le­um-pro­duc­ing nations in the Per­sian Gulf region. Iran recent­ly threat­ened to cut off access to the strait if the Unit­ed States con­tin­ues to main­tain an air­craft car­ri­er pres­ence there.

Oth­er con­cerns include the spread of vio­lence, the country’s sup­port of ter­ror­ism and its attempts to under­mine oth­er nations, Panet­ta added.

“All of that has been made very clear,” he said.

The inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty has imple­ment­ed strong diplo­mat­ic and eco­nom­ic sanc­tions that are hav­ing “a very strong impact,” he said.

“We are open … to nego­ti­a­tions with them to try to find a diplo­mat­ic solu­tion to these issues, but we do keep all options on the table in the event the red lines, I just made very clear, are crossed,” Panet­ta said.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →