WASHINGTON – While US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
attempted to convince top Israeli
politicians and security officials not to launch a strike on Iran's
nuclear facilities during his visit
to Israel last week, his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld, seems more prepared for a possible attack.
In an interview with Fox News, the former US Defense Secretary said "the prime minister
of Israel, Netanyahu, is probably correct. Sanctions
tend not to work very well over a long period of time."
Rumsfeld, who served as secretary of defense during both the Ford and Bush administrations, told Fox that "Israel's intelligence on Iran is excellent." He further denied the claims that an attack on Iran's nuclear
facilities would not yield any results.
"I don't think that Israel has to destroy all of Iran's nuclear capability, said Rumsfeld adding that "Iran is a sophisticated country. They must have deeply buried sites. And I'm sure the Israelis know precisely what they currently have."
"All the Israelis need to do is delay them," the Republican official said, clarifying that Israel "wouldn't need to destroy Iran's facilities 100 percent, like they were able to do in Iraq or in Syria."
Rumsfeld further criticized the pattern of leaks emerging from White House concerning Iran, and said that "If I were in the Israeli government, I don't think I would notify the United States government of any intent to do anything about Iran. So my guess is, given the pattern of leaks out of the White House, that any prime minister of Israel would not call the United States and give clear intentions as to what they plan to do."
While in Israel last week, Panetta assured both the prime minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak
that the US would act when it becomes clear that military intervention in Iran is unavoidable.
During his visit, Panetta echoed President Barack Obama's position that currently the international community should focus on curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions through harsh sanctions rather than considering a military strike.