In an apparent mistake, President Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod stated during an interview yesterday there are nuclear weapons in Iran which are a threat to the entire world.
No country has ever claimed Iran currently has a nuclear arsenal. A 2007 U.S. intelligence estimate previously claimed Iran halted its nuclear weapons-related work in 2003, although that report was highly criticized. Other American agencies have stated Iran could obtain nukes by 2013 or later.
Israel maintains Iran could have enough enriched uranium to produce a nuclear weapon in less than a year, although other Israeli estimates put the timeline at 2012.
Axelrod, meanwhile, said yesterday in little noticed comments to ABC News that there are already nuclear weapons in Iran.
“I think the president’s sense of solicitude with those young people has been very, very clear, and we’re very mindful of that,” said Axelrod.
Axelrod was responding to a question from ABC News’ Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos about whether U.S. talks with Iran’s leadership would undermine the opposition movement in Tehran.
The White House did not immediately respond to a WND query about whether the U.S. has new information indicating Iran possesses nuclear weapons.
An Israelis security official said there was no indication Iran currently possesses a nuclear weapon.
Axelrod wasn’t the only Obama administration official yesterday to declare the U.S. is still open to discussions with Iran over its disputed nuclear program despite Tehran’s violent crackdown on post-election protests.
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said yesterday the legitimacy of the Iranian government is not the “critical issue” in Washington’s dealings with Tehran.
“We are concerned for our own national interests to ensure that Iran doesn’t pursue its nuclear program,” she told CBS News. “It is in the United States’ national interest to make sure that we have employed all elements at our disposal, including diplomacy, to prevent Iran from achieving that nuclear capacity.”
Rice said Iran must decide whether to end its alleged nuclear weapons program and rejoin the international community or “face increased isolation and pressure.”