U.S. Military Could Hit Iran Harder Than Israel: Panetta [View all]
By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, March 8, 2012 20:02 EST
WASHINGTON — A US military attack on Iran would do more damage than a strike carried out by Israeli forces, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday in an interview.
The United States and Israel disagree about the imminence of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, and Panetta’s comments underscored the US administration’s stance that Israel should hold off on any unilateral action.
“If they (Israelis) decided to do it, there’s no question that it would have an impact, but I think it’s also clear that if the United States did it, we would have a hell of a bigger impact,” Panetta told the National Journal.
President Barack Obama and top officials have repeatedly said they have not ruled out military force if diplomacy and sanctions fail to resolve the crisis over Iran’s suspect nuclear program.