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The Obama administration’s policy toward Iran is on a “slippery slope,” President Barack Obama told The Washington Post in an interview published Tuesday.
“The last thing the country wants is a military strike on Iran’s nuclear program because that is going to cause more instability and increase the possibility for the Iranians to acquire a more potent weapon capability,” he said during his first year in office.
The White House’s efforts to press Tehran on its nuclear program, in an attempt to keep the international community from getting too excited about the program following Iran’s nuclear deal with the U.S., have been unsuccessful, even though U.S. intelligence has come in to say that Iran has developed a bomb.
Iran’s Supreme Leader has claimed several times that Iran is only pursuing nuclear weapons as a deterrent against possible attack. But, in light of the agreement the U.S. put forth with the Islamic Republic, all signs suggest that Tehran is pursuing nuclear energy in the interest of both securing its energy resources, as well as advancing its nuclear capabilities.
Obama said that in his opinion, Iran “does not share a desire for an apocalyptic apocalyptic holocaust” in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. “I think it would be very hard, if it wasn’t already hard, to imagine Iran being a threshold nuclear state. It would be awfully hard to imagine that, even in the best of circumstances, that we could ever have a situation where they are able to generate a weapon that is as large, or that is in part capable of producing a weapon that is as large.”
According to Obama, the Iranians are not interested in playing a war of nuclear chicken with the United States. But, he added, since they possess the capability to build more weapons, “that is the only way they’re going to avoid conflict in the region.”
Obama said that if they pursue a nuclear program, he believes other countries will eventually look to the U.S. for guidance.
In fact, it will be the Iranians who will decide where the “peace process should lead to,” but Obama said he believes that their efforts under this new framework should not be misinterpreted by other countries, especially other powers: “I think it would be a bad idea for other countries to just go and start dictating what the Iranians end up doing.”
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