Defense Secretary Leon Panetta added his voice to the chorus of American officials rebuffing Israel’s call for “red lines” on Iran, saying he did not want to see the US put in a corner.
“The fact is, look, presidents of the United States, prime ministers of Israel or any other country – leaders of these countries don’t have, you know, a bunch of little red lines that determine their decisions,” he told Foreign policy magazine in an interview published Friday night.
The US and Israel became embroiled in a standoff last week after first US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then President Barack Obama both publically said they would not set red lines on Iran’s nuclear program, beyond which military action would be used.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for such lines as a way of calming Israeli fears over Iran’s drive toward a nuclear weapon.
After Clinton’s comments Netanyahu rebuked Washington, saying a country that would not set red lines had no right telling Israel not to take military action itself.
On Friday, Panetta seemed to admonish Netanyahu over his attempt to push the US into committing to an ultimatum, saying that is not how the real world works.
“What [leaders] have are facts that are presented to them about what a country is up to, and then they weigh what kind of action is needed to be taken in order to deal with that situation,” he told the magazine. “I mean, that’s the real world. Red lines are kind of political arguments that are used to try to put people in a corner.”
The US is insistent that it is committed to Israel’s security, even without going along with Netanyahu’s demands.
Read more at TIMES OF ISRAEL.