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

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs