Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush, said that there is a surefire way for the United States to create a nuclear-armed Iran: Attack.
Speaking in Norfolk, Va., Gates warned of the potentially catastrophic consequences an American or Israeli attack on Iran would pose for the Mideast. He believes that neither the American nor the Israeli military is capable of quashing Iranian nuclear ambitions.
“Such an attack would make a nuclear-armed Iran inevitable,” Gates said. “They would just bury the program deeper and make it more covert.”
Gates, a longtime voice against U.S./Iranian war, said recently that war with the country would pose greater challenges than any the U.S. military faced in Iraq.
“The results of an American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations in that part of the world,” he said, according to the Virginia–Pilot.
Aggressive rhetoric in recent weeks from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has heightened the prospect of U.S. military involvement in Iran. He believes nuclear talks are ineffective and argues that the sanctions are doing nothing to stop Iran’s nuclear program.
Gates said he believes that Iran’s nuclear program can be more effectively halted by increasing “economic pressure and diplomatic isolation to the point where the Iranian leadership concludes that it actually hurts Iranian security and, above all, the security of the regime itself, to continue to pursue nuclear weapons.”
Rioting in Iran was reported this week, which is said to have stemmed from a plummeting currency value in the nation due in large part to economic sanctions currently imposed by the United States.