Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is pessimistic that additional sanctions will dissuade Iran from building a nuclear bomb.

Gates was responding to a report from the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, which says Iran is conducting experiments to build nuclear weapons.

If sanctions fail, the US could be forced to deal with one of two ‘catastrophes’: taking military action, or dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran.

“From my standpoint, if there is anything we have learned over the last decade, it is the unpredictability of conflict once you start,” Gates said.  “Once the conflict begins, it is out of the control of leaders.  No one can predict where it will go.

But Gates also said “A nuclear armed Iran would be a catastrophe of a different sort, because it could well ignite a nuclear arms race in the most volatile part of the world” Gates said.

Gates says there are few good options.

“I think we are running out of sanctions,” gates said.  He said once all of the sanctions are applied, Gates said “Then you have the choice of either dealing with a nuclear armed Iran, or the military option.”

Gates said he was not surprised by the U.N. report’s conclusions.


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