Iran still undecided on nuclear weapons: US
WASHINGTON - The Associated Press
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says Tehran has not made a decision yet on its nuclear program.Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Feb. 16 that Iran is enriching uranium in a disputed nuclear program but that Tehran has not made a decision on whether to proceed with development of an atomic bomb.
Fears of a nuclear-armed Iran produced tough talk from Panetta and the nation’s top intelligence officials, all of whom offered insights and observations on the secretive regime in separate congressional hearings. “We will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. This isn’t just about containment.” Panetta told the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee. “We will not allow Iran to close the Straits of Hormuz. And in addition to that, obviously, we have expressed serious concerns to Iran about the spread of violence and the fact that they continue to support terrorism and they continue to try to undermine other countries.” The Pentagon chief delivered President Barack Obama’s oft-repeated statement that “we do keep all options on the table.”
Panetta, the former CIA director, said U.S. intelligence shows that Iran is continuing its uranium enrichment program. “But the intelligence does not show that they’ve made the decision to proceed with developing a nuclear weapon. That is the red line that would concern us and that would ensure that the international community, hopefully together, would respond,” he said.