Panetta: 'Little red lines' on Iran a political ploy

September 15, 2012 20:05

1 minute read.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is attempting to pin Barack Obama into a corner by demanding the US president delineate "little red lines" which if passed would prompt US military action against Iran's nuclear facilities, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta affirmed Friday night.

In an interview with Foreign Policy's National Security Channel, Panetta dismissed Netanyahu's engagement of Obama on the issue of pre-emption, saying, "The fact is [that] presidents of the United States, prime ministers of Israel or any other country - leaders of these countries don't have, you know, a bunch of little red lines that determine their decisions."

"What they have," Panetta asserted "are facts that are presented to them about what a country is up to, and then they weigh what kind of action is needed to be taken in order to deal with that situation. I mean, that's the real world. Red lines are kind of political arguments that are used to try to put people in a corner."

Despite the apparent friction between the US and Israel over Iran, Panetta dismissed the notion of a rupture in relations between the two countries. "Let's just say, when you have friends like Israel you engage in vigorous debates about how you confront these issues," he said. "And that's what's going on.

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