Panetta: Military option against Iran ready and available

May 27, 2012 18:36

US secretary of defense speaks to ABC news, says neither Washington nor international community will allow Iran do develop a nuclear weapon; adds preference for diplomacy over military intervention.

The military option against Iran is ready and available, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said on Sunday in an interview with ABC News' This Week.

"The fundamental premise is that neither the United States nor the international community is going to allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon," Panetta said. "We will do everything we can to prevent them from developing a weapon."

Panetta referenced recent comments made earlier this month by US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro that Washington has a military contingency plan, should diplomatic talks fail to convince Iran to abandon its nuclear program. “It would be preferable to solve this diplomatically and through the use of pressure, than to use military force,” he said. "But that doesn’t mean that option isn’t fully available. Not just available, it’s ready. The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready."

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