The United States hinted that it is prepared to use military force to stop Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon, visiting US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said on Wednesday.
Panetta made the remarks during a visit to an Iron Dome counter rocket defense system outside the city of Asheklon together with Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
"If they continue and if they proceed with a nuclear weapon ... we have options that we are prepared to implement to ensure that that does not happen," Panetta said.
While expressing skepticism that sanctions would succeed in stopping Iran - on Tuesday President Barack Obama announced two new rounds of sanctions against Iran's envy and banking sectors - Barak hailed the Israeli-US alliance, even while admitting that there were disagreements on Iran.
"There are disagreements but this does not affect the profound depth of our ties and we plan to keep it that way," Barak said.