July 31, 2012 1 Comment
By Lauren Appelbaum, Political Director
Washington, July 31 - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak Tuesday night in Jerusalem after denying reports that the two were discussing Iran “attack plans.”
“I think it’s the wrong characterization to say we are going to be discussing potential attack plans,” Panetta told reporters during a press conference in Cairo before departing for Israel. “What we are discussing are various contingencies and how we would respond.”
When reporters asked Panetta if these potential plans include military options, he said the discussions would be “more about what is the threat that we’re confronting” in Iran’s nuclear program and sharing intelligence information.
Panetta said the two also would speak about the Iron Dome. In the last decade, Israelis in the north and south have suffered bombardments by Iran-backed terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. In response, Israel developed the Iron Dome system in 2007 to defend against short-range rocket and artillery attacks. The system integrates vertically launched interceptor missiles with a mobile control center as well as an advanced radar component.