Panetta: US force an option against Iran nukes

ROBERT BURNS
August 1, 2012
Israeli Defense minister Ehud Barak, left, and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, right, meet in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. Israel's threats to attack Iran and the violence convulsing Syria top the agenda of  Panetta's meetings Wednesday with Israeli government leaders. (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)
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Israeli Defense minister Ehud Barak, left, and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, right, meet in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. Israel's threats to attack Iran and the violence convulsing Syria top the agenda of Panetta's meetings Wednesday with Israeli government leaders. (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

ASHKELON, Israel (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is warning that Iran must either negotiate acceptable limits on its nuclear program or face the possibility of U.S. military action to stop it from getting the bomb.

Panetta made his remarks outside this city in southern Israel, with an "Iron Dome" anti-rocket defense system as a backdrop.

Panetta said repeatedly that "all options," including military force, are on the table to stop Iran, should sanctions and diplomacy — the preferred means of persuasion — ultimately fail.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, standing beside Panetta, said he sees an "extremely low" probability that sanctions will ever compel Iran to give up its nuclear activities.