Adam L. Silverman, PhD*
This past Sunday morning, on CBS's Face the Nation, Secretary of Defense Panetta made some very interesting comments regarding Iran's nuclear aspirations (video at the link):
“To make them understand that they cannot continue to do what they’re doing. Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability, and that’s what concerns us. And our red line to Iran is, do not develop a nuclear weapon. That’s a red line for us.”
This seems to be a very public reiteration of the findings of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear intentions. It is also a very welcome public admission given all the recent sabre rattling in the early GOP primaries and debates, as well as among members of Congress. The only real question now is how much will Secretary Panetta's remarks offend the tender sensibilities of the Iran hawks?
(hat tip to Zandar - I don't watch the Sunday shows, they give me a headache..., which is why I didn't know about this till today)
* Adam L. Silverman, PhD is the Culture and Foreign Language Advisor at the US Army War College (USAWC). The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of USAWC and/or the US Army.