U.S. & Israeli Officials: Iran is NOT Building Nuclear Weapons

U.S. & Israeli Officials: Iran is NOT Building Nuclear Weapons

The White House, the Pentagon, U.S. intelligence, and reportedly even Israeli intelligence and leaders of the Israeli military, as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) all have reached the same conclusions about Iran's nuclear program:

1) Iran does not have a nuclear weapon-it only has a civilian nuclear program at this point
2) Iran is not building a nuclear weapon
3) Iran has not made the decision of whether or not to build a nuclear weapon in the future

"Reuters put it another way: "The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran's nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead."

Below are a sampling of quotes from U.S. and Israeli officials clarifying that while Iran's nuclear program is a source of concern, Iran is not currently pursuing nuclear weapons. See more quotes from U.S. and Israeli officials warning against an attack on Iran.

U.S. Officials

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta:

"Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they're trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that's what concerns us. And our red line to Iran is do not develop a nuclear weapon. That's a red line for us." 2/8/12, Face the Nation

"I think [Iran is] developing a nuclear capability [but] our intelligence makes clear that they haven't made the decision to develop a nuclear weapon." 2/28/12, Senate Budget Committee

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper:

"We continue to assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.[…] We continue to judge Iran's nuclear decisionmaking is guided by a cost-benefit approach, which offers the international community opportunities to influence Tehran."

01/31/12, Unclassified Statement for the Record on the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

Responding to question from Senator Lindsey Graham: "You have doubt about the Iranian's intention when it comes to making a nuclear weapon?"


I do […] I think they're keeping themselves in a position to make that decision but there are certain things they have not yet done and have not done for some time. [...]"

02/16/12, Senate Armed Services Committee

Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey:

In response to Fareed Zakaria's question, "Do you think that is still unclear, that [Iran is] moving on a path for nuclear technology, but whether or not they choose to make a nuclear weapon is unclear? Dempsey:

"It is. I believe it is unclear, and on that basis I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option was upon us. I mean, I think that the economic sanctions and the international cooperation that we've been able to gather around sanctions is beginning to have an effect. I think our diplomacy is having an effect, and our preparedness."

2/1912, CNN

Israeli Officials

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, head of the Israeli military (IDF):

"[Iran] is going step by step to the place where it will be able to decide whether to manufacture a nuclear bomb. It hasn't decided to go the extra mile."

"I don't think [Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei] will want to go the extra mile. I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people."

4/25/12, The Guardian

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak:

"[Iran has] not yet decided to manufacture atomic weapons."

04/25/12, The Raw Story 

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