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Panetta suggests Obama is being played by Iran’s Khamenei

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has been warned by a former senior aide regarding his pro-Iran policy.

Leon Panetta, a leading member of Obama’s first administration, said Iran could be using its current negotiations to gain time to develop nuclear weapons.

Leon Panetta.

Leon Panetta.

Panetta, who served as defense secretary and CIA director, said Iranian President Hassan Rowhani, blocked by supreme leader Ali Khamenei, might be unable to deliver on any agreement to end the nuclear crisis.

“It is the supreme leader that is the key,” Panetta said.

In an address on Oct. 31 to the Anti-Defamation League, Panetta reflected the skepticism of the U.S. defense and intelligence community toward Obama’s rapproachment with Teheran.

Over the last month, the White House has opposed additional sanctions on Iran and suggested economic and political incentives for the mullah regime.

Panetta said any deal with Iran must include the halt to uranium
enrichment. The former defense chief said Teheran was unlikely to agree to
this, leaving the military as the only option to stop Iran from developing
nuclear weapons.

“We must remain strong, we must remain consistent that they [Iran] must
never, never be able to develop a nuclear weapon, and that we may very well
have to use military force to back up our policy,” Panetta said.

The address came as the administration was pressuring Israel and
American Jewish groups to stop lobbying for additional sanctions on Iran. In
late October, the White House convened major Jewish organizations as part of
an effort to block new legislation considered by the Senate.

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