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Panetta denies 'US plot' to attack Iran

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Panetta denies 'US plot' to attack Iran

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US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has denied that Washington and Israel are planning to attack Iran.

Media reports on Tuesday said the Pentagon has already drawn up military plans if diplomacy fails to convince Tehran to halt its nuclear programme.

Speaking alongside his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barack, Panetta said no strike was imminent.

“I just don’t want to engage in speculating what we will or won’t do. I guess my hope is that working together, since we have a common cause here we are both interested in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he told reporters in Tel Aviv.

“I think we have to exhaust, just as the prime minister has made this point, we have to exhaust every option, every effort, you know, before we resort to a military action. I think that’s important.”

Western powers believe Iran wants a nuclear bomb and Israel has repeatedly hinted it might use force to try to halt the atomic program.

Tehran says its nuclear work is for peaceful purposes.