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."

  • mengelbrecht1 - 2012-02-06 21:14

    As good as the intel. they had on Iraq????

      Hercules Leonardo Giorgino - 2012-02-06 22:50

      They are still looking for the WMD's bunch of Wankers

      Fred - 2012-02-07 04:31

      Because of that error, intel is stronger and more reliable today.

      nowicki1 - 2012-03-03 15:59

      It wasn't an "error". They lied to your face, and you still defend them.

      Fred - 2012-03-03 16:09

      I don't "defend them". I hold both extremes and work to resolve the paradox in the space between. A dialectic that reliably uncovers deeper truths. You on the other hand Matt, are on one extreme, far from the truth. This is clear to all clear-thinking people.

  • Jaryd - 2012-02-06 21:18

    It's all a lie.they recently covered up a letter from a nuclear specialist that Irans nuclear gas cannot be used for weapons. This is misdirection again, making us look left while they go right. Lets bring these criminals down!

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-06 22:20

      Who the Iranians? Absolutely with you on that 1 mate! No doubt!

      Fred - 2012-02-07 04:25

      While you're looking left, your house and family will be blown up by the Jihadists who want nothing more than to take the world backwards into their version of the Dark Ages.

      Erick Bukula - 2012-02-07 09:16

      Isn't it obvious that Iran has bad intention, South Africa destroyed its nuclear Arsenal but that didn't make us less safer

      Paul - 2012-02-08 15:52

      Erick, SA does not have Oil or else we would be less safer.

      Fred - 2012-03-03 16:09

      Boring, superficial thought Paul

  • Paul - 2012-02-06 22:27

    I have no doubts that neither Obama nor Ahmadinejad is perfect. But whose rulership would you rather live under? The USA's democratic, capitalism (with socialist leanings), or Iran's sharia law (which permits husbands to beat their wives, commands that homosexuals must be executed, orders the death of critics of Islam/Muhammad/Qurán (oops), orders Muslims who leave the faith to be killed, and commands jihad (holy war) on the infidels (unbelievers))?

      Paul - 2012-02-06 22:51

      Yeah, I sleep better knowing that. But you can be sure that Islam would take the world by force and impose Sharia law if they were able to. Afterall, the ultimate goal of Islam is to bring all people into submission to Islam, right?

      Paul - 2012-02-06 22:56

      Islam has divided the world into two parts: the 'Dhar-ul Islam' and the 'Dhar-ul Harb'; or in English, the 'territory of Islam' and the 'territory of war'. This may not necessarily constitute armed conflict, though this was very much the case, but it is quite clear that those countries which are not as yet under the Shariah, are still to be conquered. In the Qurán, Surah 8:39 we read (according to Pickthall): "And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression. And there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere: But if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do". The actual rendering should read "until all of religion comes to Allah". This is backed up by a Hadith: "The Messenger of Allah says: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have brought". (Sahih Muslim I, p. 17)

      Fred - 2012-02-06 23:36

      Muedes, while you sit back and do nothing about the violence and inhumanity of these radical Islamists, who are using Islam as a cover for their cruel agenda, the more enlightened world will act. Lucky you, or you'd soon be toast without even knowing it.

      Fred - 2012-02-07 02:07

      Muedes, let's see if you still have a big mouth six months from now when your pal Assad is gone. Maybe then the penny will have dropped.

      Onke Dali - 2012-02-07 09:12

      I really do not understand why you guys refuse to see Muedes point here. How many countries must the US invade for us to get the picture of what is really going on here? You people have been brainwashed so much you actually believe Muslims are a danger to you, here in Africa's unbelievable!! When they invaded Iraq they had "very good intelligence", look what happened there! I really hate the US for the hypocrites that they and hope someday someone really nukes the sh*t out of them.

      Fred - 2012-02-07 19:13

      Onke, it's not "Muslims" who are a danger, it's Islamists who misuse the Muslim religion to further their own inhuman objectives.

      Fred - 2012-02-07 19:16

      As for your last sentence, this would suggest you're an Islamist, or have open Islamist tendencies. Do you realize you're using a computer and the Internet, invented by the US, no doubt you drive a car, use a cell phone, fly in planes. Yet you want to "nuke" the US. This is rampaging dusion.

      Sterling - 2012-03-02 23:13

      What you forgot to mention that a non-Muslim witness testimony has very little value against a Muslim in court. Also, a non-Muslim pays a higher rate of taxes than a Muslim in a Muslim ruled country. Speaking of homosexual, there is a larger number of people having homosexual relation in Muslim countries than anywhere in the world. This is caused by keeping males and females separated from each other.

  • cyanideandhappiness - 2012-02-07 01:10

    Dont believe the lies people, not anymore... they said the same thing about Iraq, its all about oil, power and total domination. I'm begging you, I dont want to argue or fight anymore about it, I just want you all to see how the US and Israel are used to implement the agenda of the private elite of the world... Its right in front of our eyes. How much longer do we have to walk into a wall before we realise there isn't a way through it. These people will kill us all if they are allowed to continue on their path of destruction and death. Say no to War.

      Fred - 2012-02-07 02:08

      Wake up!

      Jaba - 2012-02-07 07:40

      By saying ‘no to war’ - you say yes to suicide. No go hug a tree and imagine everything in this world is marvellous.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-02-07 08:46

      The old Gapeto illuminati conspiracy ..... hahaha , Bill Clinton can't get a blow job from a intern without the world finding out but a secret wealthy clique can control the world ! Let me guess ? Its the Jews as well , they control all the money and the media. I'd love to see one shred of evidence , very much along the James Randi prize never being collected operandi.

  • Fidel - 2012-02-07 01:20

    Any discussion on Iranain nukes can't exclude the timeline of the emergence of the allegations. Is it not pathetic and utter Orwellian to keep on claiming from 1987 that Iran would have nukes in 2 to 5 years? It is atrocious that we turn to same sources year after year for information on Iranian nukes. Bloody warmongers are beating the war drums again supported by the idiots on these threads who refuse to tax their brains.

      Fred - 2012-02-07 04:30

      Clearly, you know little about what is really going on.

      Jaba - 2012-02-07 07:47

      Patrick, Fidel and many others seem to hate the west more than they care for the lives of Syrians.

      Fred - 2012-02-07 17:08

      "The USA loves terrorizing the rest of us". What world are you living in? Have you even been to the US?

      Fred - 2012-02-07 19:26

      Patrick, what are you talking about? That's total nonsense.

      Fred - 2012-03-03 08:14

      And you still can't see what's really going on, and what the right direction for humanity is?

  • Garth - 2012-02-07 07:35

    Obama is 100% correct when he states that there is no certainty about whom it is, that is the decision maker in Iran. The ayatollah(s) is at loggerheads with amadhinejihad(sp) over differences in their religious beliefs. (Isn't it amazing how pathetic religious people are with respect to this?) Both promote their own brands of Islam, but with the ayatollah being the supreme leader(religious head), he obviously holds more sway. Fortunately he is not as rabidly anti-American as i-ma-in-a-jihad, but he is a devotee of `the destruction of Israel' sect, so still volatile and very dangerous. Just hope that Israel restrains itself until economic sanctions have squashed their nuclear ambitions. And to those of you that think that the USA is `war-mongering', read something other than the thoughts in your own heads.

  • munyaradzi.ncube - 2012-02-07 09:04

    As long as Ahmadinejad bankrolls Mugabe? I dont care what happenes to him!!!

  • Satish - 2012-02-07 16:51

    The number of Indian children being trafficked to Israel, brutally tortured, killed and consumed as food every year far exceeds the number of deaths in Syria's civil unrest but there is no international outcry about it. RAW had proposed a processing facility to prepare and ship the meat of Indians to Israel but it was rejected because Jewish custom requires the victims to be tortured and killed over several hours before they can be eaten. Should RAW's trafficking of Indian children to Israel to be used as food be a cause for regime change? You bet! This trafficking has the sanction of the Italian woman but is she a member of Indian society? The wealth that Imelda Marcos and her husband in the Philippines amassed was not even peanuts compared to the wealth amassed by the Italian woman just as Imelda Marcos' world famous shoe collection was nothing compared to the Italian woman's fetish for shoes made from the skins of Indian children. The Italian woman gifted some of these shoes made from the skins of Indian children to the French president's wife who is Italian. Also handbags. The United States Secretary of State had requested one such handbag and it was sent to her by special jet which made the trip just for this purpose. Soon it will be a standard gift item to give to people in American and European governments. See RAWsTraffickingOfIndianChildrenDOTblogspotDOTcom

      Fred - 2012-02-07 17:07

      And you believe this?!

      mundu.olewega - 2012-03-02 23:40

      You have a serious ilness Satish. Can't be just can't fix stupid.

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