Gates: Ahmadinejad Lying to Iran

US Defense Secretary Gates takes the military option off the table and says there is evidence that Ahmadinejad is lying on impact of sanctions.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 17:53

Gates: No to military option
Gates: No to military option
Israel news photo montage

A military strike on Iran would not stop its nuclear program, but there is “some evidence” that sanctions are having an effect on internal politics in the Islamic Republic, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday.

He told The Wall Street Journal CEO Council conference that a military strike might make matters even worse by making Iran’s nuclear program more “covert.”

Gates, who previously has seriously questioned the military option, asserted that economic sanctions against Iran are having the desired impact.

"We even have some evidence that [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei, now [is] beginning to wonder if [Iranian President Mahmoud] 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."

Two weeks ago,  Ahmadinejad said that slapping sanctions against Iran was a "most ridiculous and failed" strategy and that sanctions are “just a piece of paper ... and western countries have talked so much about the effects of sanctions that they have believed their lies.”

Iranian Air flights no longer can refuel in Europe because of restrictions on oil supplies, but Iran’s government controlled media has denied there are any refueling problems.