WASHINGTON - If Iran decides to make a nuclear weapon, the United States would have a little more than a year to act to stop it, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Tuesday.
"It's roughly about a year right now. A little more than a year. And so ... we think we will have the opportunity once we know that they've made that decision, take the action necessary to stop (Iran)," Panetta said on CBS's "This Morning" program.
He said the United States has "pretty good intelligence" on Iran. "We know generally what they're up to. And so we keep a close track on them."
Panetta said the United States has the capability to prevent Iran from building an atomic bomb.
"We have the forces in place to be able to not only defend ourselves, but to do what we have to do to try to stop them from developing nuclear weapons," he said.