Gates Expects 'Significant' Sanctions on Iran
Tehran still unwilling to yield on nukes
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2009 4:45 AM CST
President Jalal Talabani, right, meets with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, left, in Baghdad on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Iraqi Government, ho)
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(Newser) – Robert Gates warned Iran today in the strongest language yet from the US that it faces serious economic sanctions because of its refusal to budge on nuclear talks. "I think that you are going to see some significant additional sanctions imposed by the international community, assuming that the Iranians don't change course," said the defense chief during a forum with US soldiers in Iraq.

President Obama has given Tehran a deadline of Dec. 31 to open its facilities to inspectors, but that seems unlikely despite fleeting signs of progress in October. Gates played down the idea of a military strike, notes the New York Times. “You never take any options off the table, but the reality is that any military action would only buy some time, maybe two or three years."