Disregarding earlier statements made by U.S. and Israel intelligence, Obama told Israeli Channel 2 that it will take Iran a year to develop a nuclear weapon.
“Right now, we think 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.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, the Pentagon, leaders in the Israeli military and intelligence agencies in the United States and Israel have all concluded that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program, is not building a nuclear weapon, and has yet to decide if it will build one.
“The intelligence we have is they have not made the decision to proceed with the development a nuclear weapon,” outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in February. “I can’t tell you they are in fact pursuing a weapon, because that’s what not intelligence say they’re doing right now.”
“They are not yet at the point I think where they’ve made a fundamental decision to get right with the international community,” Obama insisted, “but I do think that they’re recognizing that there’s a severe cost for them to continue on the path that they’re on and that there’s another door open.”
Obama is preparing to visit Israel next week where the building momentum to attack the Islamic Republic is expected to take center stage.
“When I’m consulting with Bibi, as I have over the last several years on this issue, my message to him will be the same as before: If we can resolve it diplomatically that is a more lasting solution,” Obama told the Israel television channel. “But if not, I continue to keep all options on the table.”
In early March, vice president Joe Biden issued a stern warning to Iran. “Let me make clear what that commitment is: It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Period. End of discussion. Prevent — not contain – prevent,” Biden said during a speech delivered to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
“Big nations can’t bluff. And presidents of the United States cannot and do not bluff. And President Barack Obama is not bluffing,” Biden said. “He is not bluffing.”
Obama said sanctions imposed on Iran are “having a significant effect” and will cause the Iranians to think twice about developing a nuclear weapon, according to ABC News.
In December, researcher Mehrnaz Shahabi wrote about the effect sanctions are having on the Iranian people. In addition to destroying the country’s economy and creating commodity shortages and unemployment, the sanctions have seriously effected the availability of drugs and the health of the population, Shahabi writes.
“The regime in power rarely feels the effects of sanctions,” adds Rich Rubino. “Instead, it is the average citizen who bears the burden of sanctions.”
Like the savage war waged on Iraq by George W. Bush and his father, the goal is not to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon the former Secretary of Defense and intelligence agencies in the United States and Israel say the country is not developing. It is designed to destroy the country and reduce it to failed state status in the same way Iraq was converted into a failed state riven by sectarian and political violence.
Like Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Chad, Iraq was considered on the edge to total collapse in 2008 following a 2003 invasion predicated on a weapons of mass destruction capability the country did not possess.