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Offline flowers

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Obama says Iran a year away from nuclear bomb
« on: October 05, 2013, 05:53:16 PM »

US President Barack Obama said in an interview released Saturday that Iran was "a year or more away" from getting a nuclear bomb, in a clear sign of discord with Israel.

Obama also told the Associated Press that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had staked his credibility on dialogue and it was up to the United States to see if he had the political weight to follow through, AFP news agency reports.

The president's timetable contrasts with that of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has warned that Iran has been building faster centrifuges to enrich uranium which would allow it to jump across an Israeli red line within "weeks."

Obama, who spoke to Rouhani in a historic telephone call last week, and then hosted Netanyahu at the White House on Monday, also said it remained to be seen if the Iranian president could follow through on his initiative.

"He is not the only decision maker he is not even the ultimate decision maker," Obama said.

The president was referring to the fact that final authority on the nuclear issue in Iran rests with Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Earlier, Khamenei offered qualified backing to Rouhani's visit to the UN last week but criticized some aspects of his performance - a possible reference to the phone call with Obama.

"We support the diplomatic initiative of the government and attach importance to its activities in this trip," Khamenei told military commanders and graduating cadets in remarks reported by his website,

However, he added - without elaborating - that "some of what happened in the New York trip was not appropriate... although we trust in our officials."

The September 27 telephone conversation, the first diplomatic contact between Iranian and US presidents, broke 34 years of icy relations between Washington and Tehran since its 1979 Islamic revolution.

Netanyahu warned in a speech to the UN this week that Israel would use military action to act alone to defend itself if necessary against Iran's nuclear program.

But it appears highly unlikely Israel could take any action while nuclear talks involving the United States and world powers with Iran are taking place.

Obama has said Washington must "test" Iran's offer of serious talks on its nuclear program.

The next round of talks takes place in Geneva later this month.

Iran denies its nuclear program is meant to produce weapons. Obama says the Islamic Republic must verifiably prove its intentions are "peaceful" in any deal that would ease US sanctions on Tehran.

No serious rapprochement between US, Iran - diplomat

It is too early to describe current relations between the United States and Iran as serious rapprochement, the Iranian ambassador to Russia told reporters on Saturday.

"It's too early to speak of any concrete results," Seyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi said when asked whether US-Iranian relations had been improving since after Hassan Rouhani took office as Iranian president.

"The US measures against Iran make up a very long dossier," Sajjadi said.

"The United States must take practical steps to make clear that it doesn't want to do any harm to Iran."

"Confidence in the United States still needs to be restored among the Iranian people," the diplomat said.

Iran's Khamenei vows 'harsh' response to 'disgusting' threats

Iran will mount a "harsh" response to any enemy action, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday, after Israel threatened to act alone against Iran's nuclear programme.

"We hear the repetitive and disgusting threats of the Iranian nation's enemies. Our response to any mischief will be serious and harsh," Khamenei told a military cadet ceremony in Tehran, according to remarks provided by his website

Iran's Khamenei criticises 'some' of Rouhani's UN trip

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Saturday criticised some aspects of President Hassan Rouhani's UN visit in which he spoke to his US counterpart but expressed broad backing.

"We support the diplomatic initiative of the government and attach importance to its activities in this trip," Khamenei said in remarks reported by his website.

He added, however, that "some of what happened in the New York trip was not appropriate".

"We are pessimistic towards the Americans and do not put any trust in them. The American government is untrustworthy, supercilious and unreasonable, and breaks its promises," he said.

US-Iran talks must be based on Tehran's concrete steps to give up its nuclear program- Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that the United States hopes to engage with the new Iranian administration, but that any advances must be based on concrete steps by Tehran to give up its nuclear weapons programme.

If Iran intends to be peaceful, "I believe there is a way to get there," Kerry told a news conference in Tokyo after a meeting of the two countries' defense and foreign ministers.

Kerry expressed hope that engagement with President Hassan Rouhani's government can succeed but said nothing would be taken at face value.

Discussions would be based on a series of steps that guarantee "we have certainty about what is happening," Kerry said.

Iran warns Obama 'flip-flop' threatens trust building

Iran's foreign minister warned Barack Obama Tuesday that "flip-flop" threatened efforts to build trust, after the US president told the Israeli premier the military option remained on the table.

"President Obama needs consistency to promote mutual confidence," Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet. "Flip-flop destroys trust and undermines US credibility."

His remarks came after Obama told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the use of force was still on the table in dealing with Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

"We take no options off the table, including military options, in terms of making sure that we do not have nuclear weapons in Iran," Obama said, just days after his historic call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spurred hopes of a diplomatic breakthrough in the decade-long standoff.

Obama has argued that Iran must take verifiable steps, through actions and not just words, to prove it is meeting "international obligations fully and that they are not in a position to have a nuclear weapon."

But he has also said that Iran should retain the right to a "peaceful" civilian nuclear energy programme after doing so.

In the meeting Monday, Netanyahu warned that sanctions must be maintained against Tehran and even strengthened if necessary, saying Iran had agreed to negotiate because of the punitive measures - which have hurt its economy badly.

Zarif was critical of the notion.

Obama's "presumption that Iran is negotiating because of his illegal threats and sanctions is disrespectful of a nation, macho and wrong," he said in another post on his Twitter account.

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Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: Obama says Iran a year away from nuclear bomb
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2013, 05:53:57 PM »
Just wait until they generate a mushroom cloud over Riyadh.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Oceander

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Re: Obama says Iran a year away from nuclear bomb
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 12:43:13 PM »
However, he added - without elaborating - that "some of what happened in the New York trip was not appropriate... although we trust in our officials."

Without elaboration that comment can mean almost anything at all.  It certainly cannot be taken as some concrete evidence that Khamenei thinks Rouhani behaved innapropriately toward the US.  It also cannot be taken as concrete evidence that Khamenei is going to squash Irani efforts to accelerate the pace of development of their nuclear arsenal.

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