Sanctions have weakened Iran: Panetta

Leon Panetta, said that Tehran continues to develop their nuclear capabilities.

Washington: The series of tough international
sanctions have weakened Iran, the US Defence Secretary, Leon
Panetta, on Monday said adding that even though Tehran has not
taken a decision on building nuclear weapons, intelligence
information says that it continues to develop their nuclear

"There is evidence that these sanctions are hurting, that
it`s impacting on their economy, it`s impacting on their
ability to govern themselves.

"It`s impacting on their relationships with other
countries," Panetta told the CBC television in an interview.

"It`s impacting on their position in the world, and we are
weakening Iran as a result of that.

"We`re isolating them and I think we just have to keep
that pressure on them until they recognize that they have to
change their ways," he said.

Panetta said the US can`t allow Iran to obtain nuclear
"We cannot allow a country that supports terrorism to have
a nuclear weapon.

"If they have a nuclear weapon and they`re basically
providing weapons to terrorist groups around the world,
imagine what that would mean in terms of the safety of the
world," he said.

With both diplomatic and economic sanctions, the US is
trying to isolate them and to make very clear to them that
until they change the way they behave, they`re going to
continue to be isolated, he said.

‘They are not going to be welcomed to the family of
nations...The intelligence analysis to this point has been
that while they continue to enrich, while they continue to try
to develop their nuclear capabilities, that they have not made
that decision to actually proceed with developing a nuclear
weapon," Panetta said in response to a question.