Washington, May 1 (ANI): The use of the military option against Iran to halt that country's nuclear program would only yield temporary and ineffective results, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
Gates said a military attack on Iran would merely send the country's nuclear program further underground. Instead, the United States and its allies must convince Teheran that its nuclear ambitions would spark an arms race that would leave the Islamic republic less secure.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US should work with its allies on tougher international sanctions.
Gates also said America should pursue partnerships with Russia on missile defense programs in the region to further isolate Iran and to give it economic and diplomatic reasons to abandon its nuclear interests voluntarily.
According to Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, any US-Iranian dialogue should depend on the Iranian regime's willingness to stop its drive toward a nuclear weapon.
"Israel is not opposed to the American dialogue with Iran, but believes that the US should put a time limit on dialogue while the international community prepares a severe sanctions package that can be in place immediately in case the dialogue fails," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement late last week.
He recommended that the sanctions package include the financial and insurance sectors, imports and energy infrastructure, and warned: "Israel has already said that it is not taking any options off the table, and recommends that others do the same."
Iran will be one of the issues that President Shimon Peres and Obama will discuss when they meet in Washington on Monday. (ANI)