US President Barack Obama warned Monday that as things stand at the moment, Iran would attain nuclear weapons capabilities.

"We know that they have pursued nuclear weapons in the past, and that the current course they’re on would provide them with nuclear weapons capabilities," he told The New York Times. "You combine those facts, and the message that we are sending is that this behavior is unacceptable. It is outside of the rules of the road that the international community has observed. They have an opportunity to correct these — what I consider to be a misguided approach."

Obama vowed to continue working to prevent the Islamic republic from developing nuclear arms.

"I’ve said publicly that we don’t begrudge any country obtaining nuclear energy for peaceful civilian purposes. But Iran has not considered itself bound in many ways by the basic precepts of the NPT, or has violated them on several occasions," he said. "And so we are going to continue to try to isolate any countries that are operating outside of that approach.”

On March 28, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton warned of the White House moving towards acceptance of a nuclearly capable Iran. “I very much worry the Obama administration is willing to accept a nuclear Iran, that's why there's this extraordinary pressure on Israel not to attack in Iran,” Bolton told Army Radio.


On Saturday night, in response to an announcement by Iran’s nuclear chief of plans to build new atomic facilities in the country, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s newest warning regarding Israel’s demise, a senior Israeli government official called for “determined and effective international action.”

“Ahmadinejad’s continuous outbursts of extremist rhetoric only prove to the entire international community the seriousness of the threat posed by the Iranian regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and heightens the need for determined and effective international action,” the official said.

Ahmadinejad, referring on Saturday to escalating tensions in the Gaza Strip, said IDF action would “cost” Israel “too much.”

“I say to the Zionists and their supporters that they have already committed enough crimes,” he told an Iranian crowd. “A new adventure in Gaza will not save you, but hasten your demise.”

Faced with the prospect of new sanctions because
of Iran’s nuclear defiance, Ahmadinejad said that such penalties would only strengthen his country’s technological advancement and help it to become more self-sufficient.

“Don’t imagine that you can stop Iran’s progress,” Ahmadinejad said in remarks broadcast live on state television. “The more you reveal your animosity, the more it will increase our people’s motivation to double efforts for construction and progress of Iran.”

The Iranian president claimed US pressure on Iran had backfired and made Washington more isolated in the eyes of the world.

China, which has veto power in the UN Security Council and whose support would be key, has not confirmed US reports that it has dropped its opposition to new sanctions. Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, is in China in the hopes of winning assurances from Beijing that it will oppose such measures.

Iran’s economy has suffered over the past year, and parliament approved a cut in subsidies that keep fuel prices low, a further blow to Iranians already experiencing high unemployment and inflation.

The UN Security Council could consider new punishments on Iran, including increasing financial squeezes on the extensive holdings of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The US has also said it could seek to penalize companies that sell fuel to the oil-rich Islamic Republic, which imports about 40 percent of the fuel it needs because its refineries cannot keep pace.

Ahmadinejad added that the US has failed to isolate Iran. He said the fact that Obama’s recent visit to Afghanistan was not announced beforehand for security reasons was evidence of America’s own isolation.


“First, let’s see who is isolated. We think those who can’t show up publicly among the people and directly address them are isolated – those who fear nations. Gentlemen go to a country where they have 60,000 troops without any prior announcement. Who is isolated?” Ahmadinejad said.

The Iranian president noted that his own recent trip to Afghanistan was announced in advance and said he was warmly received.

“You are isolated yourself, but you are a hotheaded and don’t understand it,” he said.

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