(WASHINGTON) — An opinion column that appeared in The Washington Post Thursday says that Secretary of State Leon Panetta has concerns that Israel will launch a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities by the spring.
While Panetta is not directly quoted in the piece, columnist David Ignatius writes that the defense chief thinks an attack could come as early as April in an effort to keep Iran from building an “immunity zone” that would make it more difficult to take out their program, which the West claims is designed for creating nuclear weapons.
Ignatius did not reveal who gave him the information about Panetta’s concerns.
When asked if he would dispute what was printed in the column Thursday, Panetta refused to comment.
Panetta remarked, “What I think and what I view, I consider that to be an area that belongs to me and nobody else.”
He did say that Israel has been open about the possibility of striking Iran militarily and that the U.S. has “indicated our concerns.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Kareem Khadder, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Arwa Damon, Waffa Munayyer and Bryony Jones, CNN