US has 'very good' intelligence on Iran

2012-02-06 20:29
Washington - President Barack Obama said the US has a "very good estimate" of when Iran could complete work on a nuclear weapon, but cautioned on Monday that there are still many unanswered questions about Tehran's inner workings.

"Do we know all of the dynamics inside of Iran? Absolutely not," Obama said. "Iran itself is a lot more divided now than it was. Knowing who is making decisions at any given time inside of Iran is tough."

Obama said that while he believes the standoff with Iran over its nuclear programme can still be resolved through diplomacy, the US has done extensive planning on a range of options.

"We are prepared to exercise these options should they arise," Obama said during an interview with NBC that aired on the Today show.

On Syria, where human rights groups say government forces have killed hundreds of people over the last few days in an effort to contain an uprising against President Bashar Assad, Obama said it is important to resolve the conflict there without outside military intervention.

Obama said a negotiated solution in Syria is possible and said the US has been "relentless" in demanding that Assad leave power.

Israeli strike

Obama's comments come amid increased tensions in the Middle East and elsewhere over the prospect that Israel, a key US ally, could soon launch a unilateral strike against Iran.

Fearing that such a step could trigger a broader war and disrupt the international economy, the US and other western nations are scrambling to try to persuade Israel against a strike.

On Sunday, Obama said the US was working in "lockstep" with Israel and did not believe Israel has decided whether to attack Iran, and said he hopes the standoff can be resolved diplomatically.

"I don't think that Israel has made a decision on what they need to do," Obama said during an interview with NBC.

Iran insists its nuclear pursuits are for peaceful civilian purposes, not a bomb.

Iran's regime says it wants to extinguish the Jewish state, and the West accuses it of assembling the material and know-how to build a nuclear bomb.

Closer consultation

Just last week, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta would not dispute a report that he believes Israel may attack Iran this spring in an attempt to set back its nuclear programme.

Obama refused to say whether the United States would get notice from Israel before any potential strike on Iran.

"I will say that we have closer military and intelligence consultation between our two countries than we've ever had," Obama said, adding, "We are going to be sure that we work in lockstep as we proceed to try to solve this - hopefully diplomatically."

The United States is leading that persuasion initiative, even though Washington largely has concluded that outside argument will have little effect on Israeli decision-making.

"Any kind of additional military activity inside the Gulf is disruptive and has a big effect on us," Obama said. "It could have a big effect on oil prices. We've still got troops in Afghanistan, which borders Iran."

As for the danger of retaliation by Iran against the United States, Obama said, "We don't see any evidence that they have those intentions or capabilities right now."


- AP
Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  iran  |  nuclear  |  iran nuclear programme
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
43 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Restaurant Manager

Western Cape
SET Recruitment Consultants
R20 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Accountant - Cape Town

Western Cape
Quantum Recruitment

Area Manager - Retail

Western Cape
Evolve Personnel
R20 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.