Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta conceded that Iran is not building a nuclear weapon, contrary to the frequent news reports and stump speeches all over the airwaves. But, “We [Panetta and other high officials] made very clear that the United States will not tolerate the blocking of the Straits of Hormuz,” Panetta told CBS television. “That’s another red line for us and that we will respond to them.”
Perhaps this is why the US is amassing troops in the Middle East. It’s not that the US is going to attack Iran over nonexistent weapons that its own Secretary of Defense acknowledge do not exist. Rather, the United States is preparing for an act of desperation from the Iranians in which they close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for truly crippling sanctions.
Even if the US doesn’t manage to push Iran into responding in such a manner, the war hawks can take solace in the fact that Panetta and the Obama administration have not ruled out a pre-emptive strike.