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SecDef Gates On Iran: Diplomacy Is The Answer, Not Military Action

by @ 1:33 pm on September 27, 2009. Filed under Foreign Affairs, Iran, Middle East

Robert Gates made clear this morning that he does not see the Iranian problem as one that can be solved principally by military means:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday that diplomacy and sanctions rather than military action are the way to persuade Iran to change its nuclear program as divisions emerge in the Iranian leadership.

Iran’s nuclear dispute with the West intensified last week after Tehran disclosed that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant.

“While you don’t take options off the table, I think there’s still room left for diplomacy,” Gates said on CNN’s Sunday program “State of the Union.”

The Pentagon chief said military force would only gain time but not convince Iranians to abandon their quest for nuclear weapons.

Not to mention the collateral effects that a military attack on Iran would have, principally in the form of the risk of increased terrorism from Iranian clients such as Hezbollah.

And, oh yea, the fact that we can’t afford another sustained conflict.

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