The United States still believes that Iran is not on the verge of having a nuclear weapon and that Tehran has not made a decision to pursue one, US officials said on Thursday.
Their comments came after Israeli media reports claimed US President Barack Obama had received a new National Intelligence Estimate saying Iran had made significant and surprising progress toward military nuclear capability.
Later, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak suggested that the new US report, which he acknowledged might be something other than a National Intelligence Estimate, “transforms the Iranian situation into an even more urgent one.”
But a White House National Security Council spokesman disputed the Israeli reports, saying the US intelligence assessment of Iran’s nuclear activities had not changed since intelligence officials delivered testimony to Congress on the issue earlier this year.
“We believe that there is time and space to continue to pursue a diplomatic path, backed by growing international pressure on the Iranian government,” the spokesman said. “We continue to assess that Iran is not on the verge of achieving a nuclear weapon.”
US officials would not directly comment on whether there was a new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which is a compilation of views of the various US intelligence agencies.
Let’s keep making this clear: Iran is not yet an existential threat to any other country, particularly not Israel, which is supposed to possess something on the order of two hundred nuclear weapons, and least of all the United States.
Continue with diplomacy, but for heaven’s sake, drop the economic sanctions. They’re not helping our case. They don’t affect the people in charge, who have lots of money and power, but they do hurt the common people. Those people will be looking to their tyrannical government for help and support, though they might otherwise oppose it. Continued sanctions will lead to war, and they will increase the likelihood that Tehran will begin to pursue nuclear weapons tech in the future.
The only conclusion I can draw, based on these facts, is that the U.S. government and its allies are intentionally trying to provoke Iran into an armed conflict.
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