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

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid