By CNN Wire Staff, November 8, 2010
Sanctions aimed at stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons are having an impact on that country, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday.
"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," he told reporters in Australia.
He said he disagreed with a recent assertion by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a military threat was the only way to influence Iran's nuclear policies.
"I disagree that only a credible military threat can get Iran to take the actions that it needs to, to end its nuclear weapons program. We are prepared to do what is necessary, but, at this point, we continue to believe that the political-economic approach that we are taking is, in fact, having an impact on Iran," he said.
But Gates noted that "when it comes to Iran, all options are on the table."
Speaking on CBC news channel, yesterday, Lindsay Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina, while not advocating military invasion of Iran, clearly echoed the sentiments of Robert Gates quoted here.
Graham was being interviewed at a Security Conference in Halifax and gathering considerable public discussion about his comments.
Military hawks are far more numerous and far more vocal in the U.S., especially in the Republican party, which has just gained control of the House of Representatives. And often, those political hawks are even more restive than the leadership in the Pentagon. The military leaders are far too aware of the high costs of deploying military might, especially the U.S. military might, on a basically defenceless country like Iran.
Did Gates know that Graham was about to make his comments this weekend?
Did Graham know that Gates was being interviewed by CNN on the same topic?
Did Obama and Clinton (Hillary) both know and 'clear' the comments of both men?
Raising the level of the decibels on the sabre-rattling to get Iran's attention seems to be a favourite preoccupation especially of the Republican hawks.
The Iranian regime, however, is walking a razor's edge of brinkmanship in its attempt to play the leader of the Middle East, to threaten the elimination of the state of Israel, and to produce a nuclear weapon, perhaps even more than one. And the rest of the world continues to hear about the potential threat of a military strike by either the U.S. or Israel or by both.
When we will see a world, in which such threatening is neither needed nor effective? Certainly not in this lifetime, although we all certainly dred the thought.