Strike or Sanctions? Leaders Debate How to Handle Iran

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Several senior Israeli political and military leaders have spoken out publicly in recent days about the need for a credible military threat against Iran.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met Tuesday with top U.S. officials in Washington, endorsing the recent U.S. ordered sanctions against Iran.

"We appreciate the very crucial decision regarding the sanctions," Lieberman told reporters between meetings. "We are awaiting that the Iranians, they will give up their nuclear ambitions."

But will the sanctions be enough to stop Iran's nuclear program? Or is a military strike the only option?

The Washington Post reported Defense Secretary Leon Panetta believes Israel will strike Iran in April, May, or June. President Barack Obama, however, said he believes Israel hasn't made such a decision.

Other international leaders like United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon want a diplomatic solution.

"These all pending issues should be resolved peaceful way through dialogue. There is no alternative to a peaceful resolution of this issue," he said.

"We have basically advised strapping on the six-shooter not pulling the trigger yet," said James Woolsey, chairman of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Former CIA director Woolsey advised preparing to use force by moving aircraft carrier groups and planes into position to take on Iran's nuclear program and its revolutionary guard.

Woolsey added that financial sanctions against Iran could still bite, but the West should speed things up.

"They should stop piddling around with this. They ought to get it done and get it done fast because that will help to bring the financial system of Iran down, which is one thing that could help in getting them out of their nuclear weapons program," he said.

Former Israeli ambassador Yoram Ettinger said there's only one option.

"Anybody who wants to stop Iran from becoming nuclear should realize that the only viable option is a military preemption, which is much preferable to risking a nuclear Iran," Ettinger explained.

Iran is Israel's most dangerous enemy.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has commented several times about keeping all options on the table in dealing with the Islamic regime.

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Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief

In a time where the world's attention is riveted on events in the Middle East, CBN viewers have come to appreciate Chris Mitchell's timely reports from this explosive region of the world. Mitchell brings a Biblical and prophetic perspective to these daily news events that shape our world.