Saturday, October 5, 2013
Back in March, President Barack Obama told an Israeli television station, "Right now, we think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don't want to cut it too close."
Of course, when it comes to silly predictions about Iran's nuclear program, we've heard that Iran has been roughly a year away from having a nuclear bomb for the past ten years.
It comes as no surprise then that, in a new interview with the Associated Press, Obama reiterated this same time frame, even though seven months have passed.
According to the current "U.S. intelligence assessment," he said, Iran "continues to be a year or more away" from producing a nuclear bomb. "And in fact, actually, our estimate is probably more conservative than the estimates of Israeli intelligence services," Obama added.
So how does time stand still when it comes to Iran? The reason is simple:
Iran isn't building a nuclear weapon, as American, European and Israeli intelligence agencies have publicly acknowledged. It's leadership has routinely and consistently denied and repudiated any intention or desire to do so.
For years now, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has repeatedly affirmed in testimony before Congress, "We do not know... if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons."
Last year, Benny Gantz, chief of staff of the Israeli military, told Ha'aretz that he believed the Iranian leadership had not yet made a decision to weaponize its nuclear program and, more importantly, that he didn't think it ever would.
So how long will it be until we hear Iran is still "a year or more" away from having a nuke?
Perhaps the "or more" part of that phrase actually means "or, more accurately, never."