WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says international sanctions are the best way to sow division within Iran and disrupt the country's nuclear program.
Gates said Iran's leadership has been surprised by the effectiveness of the latest round of sanctions passed by the U.N. Security Council in June. He told a group of executives convened by The Wall Street Journal the sanctions have driven a wedge between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Voice of America reported Tuesday.
"Those measures have really bitten much harder than they anticipated. And we even have some evidence that Khamenei is beginning to wonder if Ahmadinejad is lying to him about the impact of the sanctions on the economy, and whether he's getting the straight scoop in terms of how much trouble the economy really is in," Gates said.
"Everything else is a short-term solution, is a two-to-three-year solution. And if it's a military solution, as far as I'm concerned, it will bring together a divided nation, it will make them absolutely committed to attaining nuclear weapons and they will just go deeper and more covert."