vrijdag 15 maart 2013

Obama says Iran more than a year away from nuclear weapon

President Barack Obama told Israelis Iran is still more than year away from developing a nuclear weapon and sought to reassure them that military force remains a U.S. option if sanctions and diplomacy fail to thwart its nuclear ambitions.

In an interview with Israeli television broadcast on Thursday, just six days before his visit to the country, Obama appeared to send a message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the need for patience with Washington's Iran strategy while also showing U.S. resolve to confront Tehran if necessary.

Iran's nuclear standoff with the West will be high on the agenda during Obama's first presidential trip to the Jewish state, where he faces a tough challenge trying to narrow his differences on the matter with the right-wing prime minister.

Laying the groundwork for his talks with Netanyahu, Obama took the rare step of offering a U.S. assessment of how long it would take Iran to build a nuclear bomb should it make the final decision to pursue one. Tehran denies that is its aim.

"We think that it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don't want to cut it too close," Obama said.

Netanyahu, at the United Nations in September, set a "red line" of spring or summer for when Iran would be close to weapons capability, suggesting prospects for an Israeli attack around that time. But Iran's latest talks with world powers plus adjustments in Tehran's uranium enrichment processes are widely thought to have pushed back that deadline.

Asked if he would order an attack on Iran should diplomacy fail, Obama said: "When I say that all options are on the table, all options are on the table."

"The United States obviously has significant capabilities but our goal here is to make sure that Iran does not possess a nuclear weapon that could threaten Israel or could trigger an arms race in the region," he said.

Source: Reuters

This democrat liberal U.S. Obama Administration much too slow in dealing with Iran, bringing Israel in grave danger

'Iran nog jaar verwijderd van atoombom'

Iran heeft nog ongeveer een jaar nodig om een atoombom te vervaardigen. Dat heeft de Amerikaanse president Barack Obama gezegd in een donderdag op de Israëlische televisie uitgezonden vraaggesprek.

De Verenigde Staten doen alles wat in hun vermogen ligt om dat te voorkomen, verzekerde Obama de Israëlische kijkers. De Amerikaanse president, die volgende week Israël bezoekt, verkiest diplomatie nog altijd boven militair ingrijpen. Maar als Israëls aartsvijand in het bezit van kernwapens dreigt te komen deinst Obama voor niets terug om dat te beletten, verklaarde hij.

De Israëlische premier Benjamin Netanyahu liet eerder blijken dat hij minder geduld heeft met Iran dan zijn Amerikaanse beschermheer. Het wordt al de komende maanden erop of eronder, denkt Netanyahu. Israël heeft al meermalen gedreigd desnoods op eigen houtje naar de wapens te grijpen als Iran in staat lijkt te geraken om een atoombom te maken.