U.S.: Iran still not on nuclear cusp

The U.S. assessment remains that Iran is not on the verge of achieving a nuclear weapon, U.S. officials said, pushing back against claims to the contrary by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

“We believe that there is time and space to continue to pursue a diplomatic path, backed by growing international pressure on the Iranian government,” Reuters quoted a National Security Council spokesman as saying on Aug. 9.

In an earlier radio interview, Barak claimed the current assessment of the Iranian threat by top U.S. officials “comes very close to our own estimate.”

Asked about Barak’s comments, Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said that the United States and Israel “share an assessment of where Iran is and what its capacities are and what timelines look like.”

However, Carney also suggested that the White House did not share Barak’s assessment that the situation was “more urgent.” — jta