Iran, US, Israel: The Nuclear Issue

By: ap
By: ap

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says U.S. intelligence assessments show Iran is still "a year or more away" from building a nuclear weapon.
The president's assessment puts him at odds with Israel, which says Iran is just months away from being able to build a bomb.
Obama, in an interview with The Associated Press, acknowledged that Americans estimates are "more conservative" than those of the Israelis.
Obama also says the world must "test" whether Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (hah-SAHN' roh-HAH'-nee) is serious about resolving its nuclear dispute diplomatically. But he says the U.S. won't take a "bad deal" from Iran.
Israel has dismissed Iran's outreach to the U.S.
Obama says that if he were Israel's leader, he'd be "be very wary as well of any kind of talk from the Iranians."

JERUSALEM (AP) -- An Israeli official says Jerusalem and Washington are on the same page regarding the need to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
His comments came Saturday night after President Barack Obama told The Associated Press that Iran is at least a year away from the bomb, a U.S. intelligence assessment that differs from Israel's shorter timetable.
Israel contends Tehran is on a faster course and is just months away from a nuclear bomb.
The official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office says Obama and Netanyahu `'see eye to eye on the need to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons."
He explains that `'The critical time that the prime minister refers to is not the time for completing production of a nuclear bomb but rather the time needed for Iran to complete enriching uranium, which is the most important component in preparing a nuclear weapon." The official goes on to say `'If Iran decides to complete enriching uranium it can do so within a few weeks of the start day."
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he's not allowed to discuss the issue with the media.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's foreign minister says historic outreach with the U.S. has already paid dividends by opening opportunities to negotiate a nuclear deal that would allow Tehran to maintain its uranium enrichment but provide greater assurances the program remain peaceful.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's comments seek to build on groundbreaking diplomatic momentum with Washington at last month's U.N. General Assembly gathering.
He said in an interview broadcast late Saturday that Iran seeks a "win-win" scenario when nuclear talks resume this month with world powers.
He also disputed Obama's claim in an Associated Press interview that Iran was at least a year from reaching the capacity to build a nuclear weapon. Zarif repeated Iran's claims it does not seek nuclear arms.

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