Tags: | iran | presidential | debate | talks | obama | romney

Intelligence Expert: ‘Iranians Don’t Believe Obama’

By David A. Patten   |   Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 12:56 AM

U.S. intelligence and national-security expert Fred Fleitz tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama lacks credibility with Iran’s mullahs when he states: “As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.”

When Obama took office, Fleitz says, the Iranians did not have enough low-enriched uranium to convert into enough material for even one nuclear weapon. Now he estimates it has enough for five to seven such devices.

“So it’s just patently false that there’s been any progress made in stopping the Iranian nuke program,” Fleitz told Newsmax shortly after the debate. “It has accelerated under Obama.”

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Fleitz, the longtime U.S. intelligence officer who now serves as managing editor of Newsmax’s global intelligence site, Lignet.com, took strong exception to President Obama’s portrayal of himself as a global leader in the effort to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“We then organized the strongest coalition and the strongest sanctions against Iran in history, and it is crippling their economy,” Obama said in Monday’s debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. “Their currency has dropped 80 percent. Their oil production has plunged to the lowest level since they were fighting a war with Iraq 20 years ago. So their economy is in a shambles.”

Fleitz’s reaction: “Romney countered by saying they’re now four years closer to developing a nuclear weapon. What Romney also could have said was that the president has not been championing strong sanctions against Iran. They were passed by Congress over his objections, and in June, he exempted the top 20 Iranian trade partners from those sanctions.

“The Iranians know this,” Fleitz added. “The Iranians do not take the Obama administration seriously. And I think that the idea that when he said Iran would not get a nuclear weapon on his watch – this type of behavior and his fueling with Israel has probably led Iran not to believe him.”

Feitz, who served as senior adviser to former Rep. Pete Hoekstra when he was the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, added that he thought Romney did well in identifying Iran’s bid to acquire nuclear weapons as America’s No. 1 national security threat.

“I think a good case can be made on that, and I thought he was fairly strong on it,” Fleitz said.

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