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Iranian weapons threat remains strong

March 20th, 2013

On March 14, President Barack Obama made a comment on an Israeli television station that he believed it could take Iran about a year to develop a nuclear weapon, according to The New York Times. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received this message from the president and was promised that if this is an issue to be solved, it would be resolved diplomatically, encouraging a better solution.

Obama has ensured that the U.S. has kept all options open in the event that Iran becomes a threat to its neighbors. Obama made the following comment to CNN before his visit to the country scheduled for this week: “I have been crystal clear about my position on Iran possessing a nuclear weapon. That is a red line for us. It is not only something that would be dangerous for Israel; it would be dangerous for the world.”

If Iran wants to avoid a war, Netanyahu has said that Obama needs to establish a clear line that Iran cannot cross with its nuclear program.

Even though evidence has been piling up as to Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, U.S. intelligence officials do not believe that they have really decided to develop one. Iran also denies its aims to build a nuclear bomb. Officials have stated that the nuclear program is strictly for medical and energy use. The goal for Obama is to ensure that Iran’s supposed nuclear weapon does not threaten Israel or create an arms race.

In Obama’s comments, he mentioned that this is an issue he would like to solve diplomatically, but if not, then “all options are on the table.” These options would include military action, according to Joe Biden. According to ABC News, earlier this month the vice president warned Iran with a speech to the pro-Israel lobby, about this military action.

Intelligence officials have made it clear that a nuclear weapon is not being pursued, and Obama also believes that the sanctions both the U.S. and its international partners have imposed are making their marks to most likely cause the Iranian leadership to rethink their intentions.

If Iran really is a year away from developing this nuclear weapon, the U.S. will be committed to doing everything it can to prevent it as forcefully as necessary. Obama’s time frame of a year or so for this nuclear weapon to be developed does not match that of Netanyahu, who believes that the coming months present a point of no return in dealing with Iran, according to Business Insider.

Information from ABC News, CNN, Business Insider and The New York Times was used in this report.