Panetta: Iran will not be allowed nukes

Pelley: You just said if we have to do it we will come and do it. What is it?

Panetta: If they proceed and we get intelligence that they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon then we will take whatever steps necessary to stop it.

Pelley: Including military steps?

Panetta: There are no options off the table

Pelley: A nuclear weapon in Iran is…

Panetta: Unacceptable.


So - do you think this is a bluff? I think it is.

Reported for forum change.

Moved MPSIMS --> Great Debates.

Yes, it’s a bluff. You can’t tell someone not to do something and then say there are some things you won’t do if they refuse to listen.

?? You probably misread. Panetta didn’t say there are some things he won’t do if they refuse to listen.

Speaking of forum change - clarify something for me. This does not feel like a “Great Debate” to me. A fairly trifling one at best. How do I decide whether to place something in “Great Debates”?

“Timmy, you need to start doing your homework.”
“Why, if I don’t are you going to flense me and then drown me in a vat of salt water?”

That being said, it probably is a bluff… but it might not be.

I read it correctly and summarized it the way I intended to. I was saying Panetta can’t say there are some things the U.S. will not do to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

It’s a bluff. Or it should be. We should not go to war to prevent a country from developing a nuclear weapon.

Ah ok I see.

The problem is, it is a bluff and Iran leadership, I think, knows it’s a bluff. Which makes US look very weak and will make it even weaker once Iranians test their weapon. It would have been better if Panetta just shut up.

He’s not saying anything that hasn’t been said countless times over the last five years or so.

Right – such as Obama in September 2008: “It is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon; it would be a game changer. . . . It’s sufficient to say I would not take military action off the table and that I will never hesitate to use our military force in order to protect the homeland and the United States’ interests.”

Panetta has said nothing new here.

It has to be a bluff. This isn’t GWB’s administration. Iranian nukes, while unpleasant, will not signal the death knell of Israel or US interests so Obama should and will continue to pay lip service to military options. At most, Iran has a bigger bargaining chip and we’ll be forced to deal with them on a more equal level.

Exactly. This is the US’s policy independent of which party is in power. But beyond that, we never take anything off the table. It’s SOP in this stage of “negotiation”.

Which helps demonstrate why the Iranians are perfectly sensible to want nukes in the first place.

If Obama and Panetta said war wasn’t on the table, wouldn’t you just assume it was a lie anyway?

See, U.S. policy regarding Taiwan since its inception.

I am not sure why it is hunky-dory for Pakistan to have nukes, and yet deny Iran the same privilege.

Because it’s too late to stop Pakistan from developing nuclear weapons and we can’t do anything to them now that they have nuclear weapons since they have nuclear weapons. Which is why Iran want’s nuclear weapons.

What I think is besides the point; the point is that threatening Iran with everything up to and including nuclear attack is highly threatening and makes it perfectly reasonable for Iran (or anyone else we spout such genocidal threats at) to want nuclear weapons. And in a previous thread John Mace did defend threatening Iran with nuclear attack with the same exact excuse he’s using here:

If we want them to not want nuclear weapons, then constantly threatening them with mass slaughter is the exact opposite of what we should be doing. And making speeches about how it’s “SOP” makes it no less a genocidal threat.

We were on much healthier ground when trying to bribe them, by offering them pre-enriched uranium for use in power-generating reactors. Alas, that compromise fell through.

And if their labs are so hardened the only nukes can crack 'em, then we’re stuck in a “first use” crisis.

Not good… I say swallow the bitter pill and let them have their damn firecrackers. Then, if they ever misuse them…


One of the interesting things about Iran as a strategic target is that you can wipe out Tehran without nuclear weapons. Ordinary explosives used against their aqueducts would render the city unlivable. (The same is true of Los Angeles…) So, if massive retaliation has to happen, it doesn’t have to involve our use of nuclear weapons. An odd kind of moral high ground…

Pakistan didn’t sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, neither did India or Israel. Meaning they are not suject to IAEA inspections or sanctions.

Iran signed the NWNPT 1968 under the Shah.

Does anyone know why the modern Iranian government has never tried to renounce the treaty considering it was signed into force by the government they overthrew?