Iran nuke ambitions...we will know it when we see it
December 21st, 2011
09:50 PM ET

Iran nuke ambitions...we will know it when we see it

The U.S. does not know if Iran has decided to move forward to develop nuclear weapons program further or not but if they did move ahead, the U.S. would know about it.

That was the end result of Pentagon spokesduo George Little and Captain John Kirby trying to explain  Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently comment that the U.S. believes Iran could develop a weapon within a year.

Panetta told CBS News that Iran it would "probably be a year" before Iran could have a nuclear weapon.

Asked about the comments today, Pentagon spokesman George Little said that it is true the U.S. believes that “if the Iranians made a decision to move toward the development of a nuclear weapon, they could in theory have one in the relatively near future.”

However, moving forward would require a number of steps, Little said at a Pentagon press conference Wednesday.

“It would require them first to make a decision to move forward with the development of a nuclear weapon. And then, of course, they would have to not only enrich uranium so that you get highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon. You'd have to - and then you'd have to go through the weaponization process,” Little said.

Little said if they did move forward, a one year timeline for achievement is “possible.”

But, Little said, “our best information, is that we don't now whether or not the Iranians have made the decision to move ahead.”

Despite not knowing, co-spokesman Capt. John Kirby seemed confident the U.S. would know if something changed.

“We also think that - that if they make the decisions that George talked about, that we would be able to detect that and we would have time to deal with it,” Kirby said.

Asked to explain what those indicators would be, Little said that with the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors in-country, a decision for Iran to accelerate development of nuclear weapons would be noticed.

“One of the signals would be that they would - they would probably move to kick the inspectors out,” said Kirby.

But Kirby said inspectors “have access right now.”

Of course, that assumes there isn't "a hidden facility somewhere in Iran that may be enriching fuel," Panetta noted to CBS News.

Still, Kirby tried to express confidence.

“We think that we would be able to know, should they cross that threshold, and we would have time to deal with it,” Kirby said. Kirby noted that the U.S. is first relying on diplomatic pressure and sanctions to stop the Iranians.

“Military options, while they have to be prepared and ready for the president - that's our job, to provide him options - it should he last option, and that the secretary fully supports the approach that's being taken now,” Kirby said.

Those options, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey told Barbara Starr in an exclusive interview, are all achievable.

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Filed under: Intelligence • Iran • Military
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. I hate israel and zionists

    Let's bomb israel – eliminate the problem and the world will have peace

    israel is the problem – israel is behind 9-11

    israel is a state of mind – it does not exist – zionists are murderers – thieves – fuc k their fake arse fiat money.

    We don't want it and we don't need it

    f uck thier Fed. reserve con job

    f uck all the zonists in America with dual israli and u.s. citizenships – they are all traitors and should be shot!

    January 14, 2012 at 8:30 am | Reply
    • Dan

      Shoo, Shoo! Back under your rock.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:45 am | Reply
  2. MileHighPro

    "I do not know what weapons WWIII will be fought with, but WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones." Albert Einstein.

    January 13, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  3. Davehuckleberry

    If Iran can achieve a nuclear weapon within just one year then i say that they are too close even right now and that action must be taken immediately. Diplomacy has not worked and is being used by Iran to buy time, just as North korea did. What happened there?

    January 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  4. Cassandra Chu

    ... this is all Israeli propaganda, designed to create hatred and fear. America (with the help of jewish AIPAC and Israel-first journalists at CNN) has become racist in its anti-Arab, anti-Muslim behavior. Iran has no nuclear weapons program just as Iraq had no WMD. America has become a scoundrel.

    December 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  5. ALex

    US has no right to tell other countries what to do, if something is wrong it is wrong for everybody, if having nucklar weapon is wrong then no countries should have it
    I hate islamic republic and I hate US goverment as much , if not more

    December 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • donald ourand

      we acually can tell them what to do. we are the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA bitches.

      December 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
      • alexzamani@gmail.com

        ya think it that way , that is why no american is safe anywhere in the world, all americans claiming that they are canadian when they travel, most of them even have canadian flag attached to their luggage when they travel, why do you think this is? you guys scared of your own shadow.
        Iranian goverrment are fucked up there is no dobt about it, US governemt is fucked up too in different way, US cant do whatever the hell they want to do and then tell this or that country what to do.

        December 23, 2011 at 8:44 am |
      • Cassandra Chu

        it's this attitude which makes others hate us. i hope you never leave your redneck sandbox to embarrass the u.s.

        December 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
      • Davehuckleberry

        Plus its people like you who have never served your country but still think you can swear and brag all over the net that make me sick. You = LOSER

        January 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
      • russ

        The Israelis will know and when they do, look out!!

        January 4, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • donald ourand

      and when were done with iran were going to call it AMERIRAN

      December 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • Jo

      You Dipshit! You give those crazy fuckers a Nuke and You give them the ultimate terror weapon in the hands of terrorists. The MINUTE they get a nuclear Weapon they will use it how stupid can you be. Oh pretty stupid I think you cant' spell nuclear even with spell check. lmmao

      December 25, 2011 at 9:02 am | Reply
    • Davehuckleberry

      When a country like Iran has publicly stated that Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth then action must be taken to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons. What would you do if they threatened your very existence? I am quite sure your views would change. I am not even American but they have the might to end Iran's ambitions.

      January 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  6. Jason

    I've noticed that those who support Ron Paul do not live in fear. This is his greatest asset. Fearful people always want war and to spend problems away. Neither are productive to our fundamental values. The people who live in fear live a brainwashed life, and sadly, some are ok with that. The massive egos, false wealth, and ignorance that accompany this constant subconscious fear are truly massive in this country. This is not freedom. It’s self-isolation.

    December 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • russ

      Policies like Ron Paul's are dangerous! Sticking your head in the sand and not paying attention to the world around get's you dead. I would think the 1930's would have tought Ron Paul this. Waiting for a benign cancer to turn malignant also ends up killing you. Granted you have to fight the RIGHT wars in the RIGHT places STRATEGICALLY. However, the policy of isolationism ends up costing more lives. IE. WWII.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
  7. Awabnavi

    World prepare for WW III

    December 22, 2011 at 9:32 am | Reply
    • Evil Racist Zionist

      The dirty evil zionists want war.

      I say let's get it over with and let's start nuking everybody today! In the end there will be no more zionism and israel. israel will be nuked and wiped off the face of the earth, thank heavens. All surviving zionists will be hunted down and given what they deserve. zionists are murdering lying thieves.

      God did not come down and say, "here, I have killed all the Palestinians, so now, all of the zionists can now live in Palestine. I command it!" No, sir. What we have here is evil men from eastern Europe devise an evil plan: WWI, WWII, the death of millions of innocent Jews in gas chambers, to the creation of the illegal state of israel. Now, we have these evil dirty zionists controlling the world through the banks – they are an evil people.

      You can't hurry God. If God, itself, himself, or herself, has not created Israel, then the israel state the zionists have created is pure evil and not endorsed by God. Real Jews know this. Real Christians and Muslims know this.

      The dirty evil zionists are the devil's children. If you don't believe this, they explain whey only fake kharzar jew beliefs are the only beliefs allowed in israel? Why are Christians jailed for preaching the gospel of Jesus? The dirty evil zionists are not America's friend, they are America's enemy! Don't believe the fake jews.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:36 am | Reply
      • donald ourand

        just ask gingrich..pakistan is the fake one.

        December 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
      • MIke

        Genesis 12:3
        "And I will bless them that bless thee (Israel), and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

        Certainly. Israel has blessed this world in too many ways to count. And I choose to bless Israel, as they are surely God's choosen people.

        December 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
      • Jo

        You Piece of shit Muslim extremist! WHo we need to Nuke is Iran Palestine Afghanistan and all of the other Muslim states. I suggest you look online for The Koran the ultimate truth. This will show you your little book's true religion Mohamed was a rapist murderer, coward (He never fought himself but sent others to do his murdering for him) and look at your Koran as you read this you can say that God can't add? Mohamed wrote this little book of bullshit to further his own insane religion He also liked little boys. He was Homosexual as well.

        December 25, 2011 at 8:56 am |
      • Mike

        Your a Muslim aren't you? That was the biggest piece of bs ive ever read. Why do you support Iran? And if anything you guys are evil. The Quran is all about peace but in the Middle East there are Muslims blowing themselves up and killing innocent people even if the Quran says not to. The U.S. has never threatened to blow people off the face of the earth.

        January 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
      • Alex

        Dude
        US is biggest terrorist country on the face of earth, how many people your goverment have killed so far?
        you guys think terrorist is just someone who has bomb and blow up himself and other people?
        no terrorist is US gov who is attacking countries and killing millions, do you know how many people have been killed in Iraq so far? no you dont because your media doesnt want you to know
        also to clarify something I hate Iranian gov but I same time I hate your gov as much , both of these gov hurt and kill people in different way
        open your eye, and stop watching too much CNN and Fox news

        January 5, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • donald ourand

      this is going to be world war IIIast after no one can get ther nukes off the ground except for tha allies of the u.s..

      December 22, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  8. Brent

    They've been saying Iran is a year or two away from a nuke for years now! And thats just it. They're saying they have the technology and capability to do it. So we want to sanction and attack anyone whos smart enough? The issue is making a nuke not being smart enough to. They havent made a decision to build them so why is that we are sanctioning them? At the same time we judge them and say they're technologically backwards, well thats because we keep it that way. Screw hypocricy.

    December 22, 2011 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • James

      Totally agree. Since the 80s we have been hearing that Iran is 6 months or 1 year away from building it. However I don't think sanctions or any military action is at all having to do with nuke programs. It is only an excuse because Iran is not in the line with the wishes of the Americans concerning different issues in the Middle East and because military industries and some lobbies need a new war. Saddam had got rid of its WMDs in 1992. It was verified by the UN inspectors and Iraq denied having any but it was still attacked. While Iraqi regime was daily saying no WMD was left, today the propagandists say Saddam didn't tell us ! When he really had them, thanks to technical assistance from the West, and was using them on Iranians and the Kurds in the 80s, Iran went to the UN to get Saddam condemned but the resolutions were stopped by the US and UK ! Rumsfeld visited Saddam in 1983 pledging him full support in the middle of that war and US even shot down an Iranian civilian airbus killing 300 passengers.

      December 22, 2011 at 9:57 am | Reply
      • donald ourand

        the inspectors are a waste of time and money. they are only allowed to go certian places or are stalled long enough to get rid of evidence that points to crimes aginst humanity. just like iran is doing.and syria and iraq. every thing that comes out of a muslim leaders mouth is a lie or a bluff. we got spacecraft circleing the world to respond to a threat with nukes. we have them under water, on top of the water and in the air.in the ground. we can shoot down any icbm from sapce or planes or ground with missles or lasers or electictomagnetic weapons.we have friends in every cornor of the world that we armed. iran thinks they got a top secret drone? we just sent a beter one to afganistan.and all that is not even top secret.muslims will die hundreds to one. i think we should just send all the bible thummper over ther and kill them all at once ,but thats just my opinion.

        December 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Cassandra Chu

      ... these are just CIA lies. it's propaganda designed to intimidate in the middle east. the problem is that American politicians and the CIA are actually making our world LESS safe with these threats.

      December 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  9. Sayan Majumdar

    Unlike the nuclear weapons proliferation in North Korea, in Iran’s case United States will be in compulsion to act.

    Else Israel may well initiate mayhem in the Middle East.

    Sayan.

    December 22, 2011 at 6:55 am | Reply
    • Cassandra Chu

      ... no wonder the Europeans couldn't stand them...

      December 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
      • Mark Kerpin

        And you expect someone to read the rest of your racist claptrap? What a sad excuse for a human being.

        December 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
      • Jo

        Yea. Well You can talk to me when you spend as much time as I did first, with the 1st of the 506th Infantry 101st Airborne, And Later with the 5th Special Forces (Green Beret) and see as much Combat. Panama and Grenada. Also Been wounded twice which earned me 2 purple hearts. You on the other hand have been sitting in your parents basement, Blogging bullshit to the real world in which we have fought and died for our Country. Must be nice to be 40 and still have your parents pay your sorry ass way. I'm wondering how close did i hit that on the head? lmmao You know why bad things happen to you? Because your a Dumbass.

        December 26, 2011 at 9:35 am |

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