All options, including a military one, are on the table to stop Iran, US
Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy said Wednesday,
backtracking from comments she made two months earlier that the military option
was off the table.
In Israel for a strategic dialogue with the Defense
Ministry, Flournoy told reporters Wednesday that while America’s focus would be
on imposing the new round of sanctions, it was keeping all options on the
“All options remain on the table but right now our focus is on
making the sanctions work,” she said in Tel Aviv.
In April, Flournoy was
quoted as saying during a visit to Singapore that a US military option on Iran
is off the table in the near term.
“The Obama administration remains
fully committed to preventing Iran’s development of nuclear weapons,” she said
Wednesday. “We have been pushing from the beginning for Iran to come into
compliance with its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and various
United Nations resolutions. We started off with a serious offer of engagement
and were joined by international partners, and Iran chose not to engage
We most recently turned to the pressure track, the first step
Flournoy will stay in Israel for several days and
hold a number of highlevel discussions with the country’s top military and
defense brass about a widerange of issues, including continued American funding
of various defense projects such as the Iron Dome short-range missile defense
system, the Arrow ballistic missile defense system and Israel’s interest in
purchasing the stealth F-35 fighter jet.
“The defense relationship
between Israel and US is stronger than ever...[and] the US remains fully
committed to Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME),” she
According to Flournoy, the US maintained a policy of transparency
in its contacts with Israel and regarding military sales to other
“This administration has a very candid and ongoing dialogue
with our Israeli counterparts on QME concerns they may have, whether on
assistance to other countries in the region or prospective sales, and we
be transparent and provide assurances,” she said.
Flournoy said that the
United States was waiting to see the results of the various inquiry
the IDF’s raid last month on the Gaza flotilla while adding that Turkey
to be searching for a new role in the region.
“There are areas where we
have very shared perspective and cooperation [with Turkey] like on Iraq
there are areas where we had difference of views like on the vote at the
Iran,” she said.
Turkey did not support the UN Security Council
resolution to impose a new round of sanctions on Iran.