WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama has said Iran is still "a year or more" away from building a nuclear weapon, citing U.S. intelligence assessments.
Obama made the remarks in an interview released Saturday by the Associated Press.
He admitted that these assessments are "more conservative" than the Israelis, who claim Iran is just months away from acquiring nuclear capability.
Obama added that the world must test whether Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is sincere about seeking a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff.
Obama and Rouhani held a phone talk on Sept. 27, after the Iranian President attended the U.N. General Assembly in New York, during which he called for solving Iran's nuclear issue in a diplomatic way. This was the first communication between the two countries' leaders in more than 30 years.
However, during a meeting with Obama at the White House on Sept. 30, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed deep mistrust toward Rouhani's conciliatory overture. And he urged the U.S. to keep economic sanctions on Iran in place.
Talking about the ongoing government shutdown, Obama said he was willing to negotiate with the Republicans over changes to his signature health care law, known as Obamacare. But he refused to do so until Congress reopens the government and agrees to raise the debt ceiling.
TEHRAN, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei endorsed on Saturday the diplomatic efforts of President Hassan Rouhani at the recent UN General Assembly, but criticized some aspects of his UN visit.
On the positive side, Khamenei's remarks were an allusion to the diplomatic efforts of the Iranian delegation to the United Nations, which aimed to criticize Western pressures on Iran over the country's controversial nuclear program and to gain support for what the Iranians called "rights to civilian nuclear program." Full story
JERUSALEM, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday outlined his strong opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions in an interview with a Persian-language TV channel, in the wake of his speech at the United Nations General Assembly. Netanyahu, in his first television address to BBC Persian, reiterated his doubt about Iran's conciliatory approach.
"We are not patsier," Netanyahu said in Farsi. "I will welcome efforts to stop the nuclear program, not fake ones. Israel wants a diplomatic solution but it must be full and real," he added. Full story