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Iran may be wild card in 2012 election

Monday, January 30, 2012

(Fox News) What happens in Iran over the next few months may be one of the biggest wild cards in the 2012 election, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was characteristically blunt about the stakes.

"If they decided to do it, it would probably take them about a year to be able to produce a bomb and then possibly another one to two years in order to put it on a deliverable vehicle of some sort in order to deliver that weapon," Panetta told CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday.

Top aides to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insist the timeline is a lot shorter, and suggested in Sunday's New York Times Magazine they may launch a unilateral strike against Tehran.

While Israeli officials clearly believe this could be a last resort option to take out Iran’s nuclear capabilities, there is sharply divided opinion about whether such a move would also throw the Middle East into chaos -- not to mention have a huge impact on the U.S. election.