Sanctions have weakened Iran: Panetta
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Last Updated: Tuesday, April 03, 2012, 00:50
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 capabilities.

"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 weapons. "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.


First Published: Tuesday, April 03, 2012, 00:50

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