Panetta in Israel, Denies Plans to Talk About Military Strike on Iran

Posted July 31st, 2012 at 4:50 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is in Israel, where he denies reports that he is there to talk about potential plans for a preemptive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Panetta said Israeli media have wrongly characterized Wednesday's upcoming talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He said the discussions will be more about the threat to Israel and the United States from Iran's nuclear program and the various ways to respond.

Mr. Netanyahu told Israeli television that he has made no decision on a potential military strike against suspected Iranian nuclear weapons sites.

Panetta arrived in Israel from Egypt and a meeting with newly elected President Mohamed Morsi. The U.S. official described Mr. Morsi as being “his own man,” despite his ties to the conservative Muslim Brotherhood. He also said the Egyptian leader is committed to democratic reforms.

Panetta called U.S.-Egyptian military relations an anchor of regional stability for 30 years.