'Not only military threat.' Gates
Photo: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry
US rejects Israeli call to threaten Iran
Secretary of Defense Gates turns down PM Netanyahu's request for a 'credible' military threat against Islamic Republic, says all options still on table. 'We are prepared to do what is necessary, but at this point we continue to believe in the political-economic approach'

The United States on Monday rejected comments from Israel's prime minister that only a "credible" military threat against Iran would ensure it does not obtain nuclear weapons.


In a conversation with reporters in Australia, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, "I would disagree that only a credible military threat (would convince) Iran to take the actions it needs to end its nuclear weapons program."


Gates underscored that all options still remain on the table, adding that President Barack Obama reiterated this point time and again.

Netanyahu and Biden on Sunday (Photo: AFP)


"We know that they are concerned about the impact of the sanctions. The sanctions are biting more deeply than they anticipated and we are working very hard at this," Gates told reporters on a visit to Australia for security talks.


"We are prepared to do what is necessary but at this point we continue to believe that the political-economic approach that we taking is in fact having an impact in Iran."


The secretary of defense's comments come on the backdrop of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting Sunday night with US Vice President Joe Biden in New Orleans.


During their meeting, Netanyahu urged Biden to create a "credible" military action against Iran, if it does not cease its race for nuclear armament.


Netanyahu's request stems from the assumption that while economic sanctions cripple Iran somewhat; its regime does not intend to stop the development its nuclear program.



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