Panetta: Attacking Iran Only Briefly Delays Nuclear Program

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said today at a press briefing that striking Iran’s nuclear program would only delay it two to three years. Asked if he agreed with his predecessor’s evaluation that “bombing would at most delay that program or derail it up to two or three years at most,” Panetta responded: “I see no change in the assessments.” The former Central Intelligence Agency chief said that among the “consequences” of attacking Iran could be “not really deterring Iran from what they want to do, but more importantly, it could have a serious impact in the region and it could have a serious impact on U.S. forces in the region.” He said strikes “ought to be a last resort” and a nuclear-capable Iran was “unacceptable.”