News / Middle East

Obama: Iran at Least a Year Away From Building Nuclear Weapon

President Barack Obama speaks during an exclusive interview with the Associated Press in the White House library in Washington, Oct. 4, 2013.
President Barack Obama speaks during an exclusive interview with the Associated Press in the White House library in Washington, Oct. 4, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama says U.S. intelligence estimates show Iran is "a year or more away" from building a nuclear weapon.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Obama acknowledged that U.S. estimates were more conservative than those of Israel, which said Iran was much closer that that to building an atomic weapon.

President Obama also said the world must test whether Iran's President Hassan Rouhani was serious about resolving its nuclear dispute diplomatically.

His comments come after he held a short phone conversation with Rouhani on September 20, in the first direct contact between the two countries' top leadership in more than three decades.

The contact capped a week of outreach to the West by Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, during the annual opening session of the U.N. General Assembly.

On Saturday, Iran's supreme leader voiced support for Rouhani's overtures to the West, but he said some aspects of his trip to New York last month were "not appropriate."

In remarks posted on his website, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei did not elaborate on his objections, but it would appear they center on Rouhani's conversation with Obama.

The ayatollah said the U.S. government was not trustworthy and broke its promises.

The commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, called Rouhani's decision to engage in the phone conversation a "tactical mistake."

The issue underlying the two presidents' conversation - and most all other aspects of the arms-length relationship between Washington and Tehran - concerns Western efforts to resolve the standoff with Iran over its nuclear development program. I

ran has insisted its nuclear work is purely for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. and many of its allies disagree, contending that Iran has embarked on a secret program to build nuclear weapons, with missiles capable of striking at Israel and other countries in the Middle East.

Working through the U.N. Security Council, the U.S., Britain, France and others have imposed several rounds of sanctions that have badly battered Iran's economy.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ajax from: Lessome
October 08, 2013 1:57 PM
I would have to agree. Iran has already enriched more than sufficient uranium material to build a nuclear weapon. The fact that is converting some of its excess material into a gas form (which by the way can be readily converted back to weapon's grade material) still leaves an abundant amount for Iran to build the first of its nuclear arsenal. The real issue has been the fact that Iran has built a massive centrifuge capability to enrich all the material it needs at any time. It has already built 18,000 of them with 10,000 in operation, more than sufficient. What matters is if the West can force Rouhani and Khamenei to give up their nuclear ambitions with concrete action and not simply talk. It's highly doubtful given Rouhani's long and loyal service to the regime as outlined at the site www.hassan-rouhani.info. The only real hope is to continue economic pressure on the regime leadership and enable regime change through the Iranian people.

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
October 06, 2013 11:43 PM
The new leader of Iran deserves to be given the FULL, not half or partial, benefit of doubt. Rouhani's conciliatory gestures should be welcomed by the West. It's understandable that Israel has legitimate reason to show sceptical about Iran's political activities.

by: Mladen Andrijasevic from: Be'er Sheva, Israel
October 06, 2013 3:03 AM
And we are supposed to believe him after the Syria flip-flop?
Standing Alone - Churchill 1940 - Netanyahu 2013
http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2013/10/standing-alone-churchill-1940-netanyahu.html

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More