The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says “pressure is mounting” for action other than economic sanctions to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
“Everybody agrees that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program,” Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program today, Bloomberg News reported. “The last part of it is, can they take the highly enriched uranium, weaponize it and put it on a missile for use? And there’s the debate: How long would it take to accomplish the last piece of that?”
President Barack Obama told an Israeli television station last week that his administration believes that Iran is at least a year away from developing a nuclear weapon.
Rogers said he wasn’t as certain as the president on the timing of when Iran may have the capability to launch a nuclear strike.
“The Israelis believe it is sooner than that, and that’s why the pressure is mounting for some action, maybe other than sanctions for Iran, so they get the signal that we really won’t tolerate them getting a nuclear weapon and then proliferating nuclear weapons across the Middle East,” Rogers said.
Rogers also said the U.S. just doesn't know about "the stability" of North Korea's young leader, who has threatened pre-emptive nuclear attacks on Washington.
Kim Jong Un is trying to "prove himself" to his military and the military is eager for "saber-rattling" for its own self-interest, Rogers said.
North Korea also has said recently that it no longer will recognize the armistice that ended the 1953 Korean War.
The Pentagon said Friday that it will spend $1 billion to add 14 interceptors to an Alaska-based missile defense system, responding to what it called faster-than-anticipated North Korean progress on nuclear weapons and missiles.
Rogers said the North Koreans seem to be looking for some "provocations."
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