Former McCain security assistant: Iranian nuclear threat not "urgent"

An American national security analyst who served as a former national security assistant to presumptive Republic Party presidential nominee John McCain said Sunday that the US is trying to pursue the diplomatic option with Iran over its nuclear program since it does not view the nuclear threat by the Islamic Republic as an "urgent" crisis. "I think we are contemplating to do exactly what we said we are doing - which is to try to pursue diplomatic options, and the reasons are very simple, we do not see this as an urgent crisis in terms of Iran rapidly acquiring weapons or effective delivery systems," said Anthony H. Cordesman in an address at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Cordesman, who also served as a former director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the US Secretary of Defense, conceded that the US assessment on Iran's nuclear program is at odds with Israeli intelligence estimates, and said that the whole issue is likely to be left to the next US president. "If that assessment changes, it does differ from some Israeli experts, then our timing might change. But I suspect that is going to be an issue for President Obama or President McCain," he said.