WASHINGTON (Reuters) – 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 on Saturday, although he described 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 U.S. intelligence assessment of Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons.
Obama has directed U.S. officials to try to work out an agreement with Iran to allay international concerns about its nuclear program, an opportunity he has said is worth exploring after the election of the relatively moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The United States, Israel and other countries accuse Iran of using its nuclear program to try to develop the capability to produce weapons. Iran says the program is for peaceful energy purposes only.
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