Iran a year or more away from n-weapon capability: Obama

Obama has directed US officials to try and work out an agreement with Iran to end its nuclear programme

Written by Reuters | Washington | Published:October 6, 2013 12:42 am

The United States believes Iran is a year or a more away from being able to produce a nuclear weapon,President Barack Obama said in an interview with the Associated Press released Saturday,describing the estimate as “conservative”.

“Our assessment continues to be a year or more away,and in fact,actually our estimate is probably more conservative than the estimates of Israeli intelligence services,” Obama said in reply to a question about the US intelligence assessment on Iran’s timetable for nuclear weapons.

Obama has directed US officials to try and work out an agreement with Iran to end its nuclear programme,an opportunity he has said is worth exploring after the election of the relatively moderate Iran President Hassan Rouhani.

Obama and Rouhani spoke by telephone a week ago,the highest-level contact between the two countries in three decades. “I think Rouhani has staked his position on the idea that he can improve relations with the rest of the world,” Obama said. “The way the system works,he’s not the only decision maker. He’s not even the ultimate one.”

Khamenei disapproves ‘aspects’ of Rouhani US trip

TEHRAN: Iran’s top leader Saturday said some aspects of Hassan Rouhani’s trip to New York last month were “not appropriate”,but reiterated crucial support for the president’s policy of outreach to the West. The comments by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei came after hardliners criticized a 15-minute phone conversation between Rouhani and Obama. AP

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