Tags:

UPDATE 2-US Sees Iran Rift, Says Strike Would Unite Country

Tuesday, 16 Nov 2010 11:28 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

* Sanctions biting harder than Iran expected - Gates

* Ahmadinejad, Khamenei rift?

* Iran has agreed to new nuclear talks, analysts skeptical

(Adds Iranian exercises)

By Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sanctions against Iran are biting hard and triggering divisions among its leadership, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday, as he argued against a military strike over Tehran's nuclear program.

Iran has agreed to meet with a representative of the six big powers for the first time in more than a year over its uranium enrichment drive, but diplomats and analysts see little chance of a breakthrough in the long-running dispute.

Gates said he saw little choice, however, to pursuing a political strategy that includes sanctions and renewed his concerns that a military strike would only delay Iranian nuclear capabilities by two or three years.

He added that sanctions "have really bitten much harder than (Iranian leadership) anticipated," and suggested Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was increasingly at odds with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"We even have some evidence that Khamenei, now, (is) beginning to wonder if Ahmadinejad is lying to him about the impact of the sanctions on the economy. And whether he's getting the straight scoop in terms of how much trouble the economy really is in," Gates told the Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington.

The West believes that Iran aims to use its uranium enrichment program to build atomic weapons, which Iran denies. Both Israel and the United States have said all options remain on the table to deal with its nuclear ambitions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ratcheted up rhetoric last week by calling on the West to convince Iran that it would be willing to take military action to prevent Tehran from producing nuclear weapons. He said economic sanctions had so far failed to do the job.

Gates has publicly disagreed with Netanyahu about the need to put forward a military threat.

Although he acknowledged on Tuesday that Iranian leaders "are still intent on acquiring nuclear weapons," he said military action was not a long-term answer.

"A military solution, as far as I'm concerned ... it will bring together a divided nation. It will make them absolutely committed to obtaining nuclear weapons. And they will just go deeper and more covert," Gates said.

"The only long-term solution in avoiding an Iranian nuclear weapons capability is for the Iranians to decide it's not in their interest. Everything else is a short-term solution."

The Iranian air force started a five-day military exercise Tuesday meant to test Iran's defenses against air strikes. Tehran said it was the biggest exercise of its kind it had ever staged. (Additional reporting by Robin Pomeroy in Tehran, Editing by Eric Beech)

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Former Member: Oklahoma Mosque Taught Radical Islam

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 22:43 PM

A former member of an Oklahoma mosque attended by the suspect in a recent beheading said members and leaders taught radi . . .

Rand Paul: 'I Am Not Opposed to Birth Control'

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 11:30 AM

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., widely believed to be seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2016, cautiously tiptoed . . .

Dick Morris: Obama Went Out of Way to Miss Intelligence Briefings

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 11:15 AM

President Barack Obama has missed 58 percent of the national security intelligence briefings during each of his terms in . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved