US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Source: Press TV
The US has officially changed its policy regarding Iran’s nuclear energy program, saying it is now adamant in preventing Tehran from allegedly achieving the “capability” of building nuclear weapons rather than actually producing one.
“It’s absolutely clear that the president’s (Barack Obama’s) policy is to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons capability,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, the Jerusalem Post reported.
On February 16, US Senator Joe Lieberman published a statement on his website, announcing that 32 senators - both Republicans and Democrats - had banded together to introduce a resolution urging action to prevent Iran from pushing “forward in its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”
“By rejecting any policy that would rely on containment of a nuclear-weapons capable Iran, this bi-partisan resolution sends a clear message to Iran’s rulers that the United States will stop them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability,” the statement said.
Commenting on the shift in the US policy regarding Iran’s nuclear energy program, Robert Parry, an American award-winning investigative journalist and author, said the distinction between Iran’s alleged “pursuit of a nuclear weapon” and its alleged “pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability” is a subtle but “important” one.
“The distinction is important because a ‘capability’ can mean almost anything, since peaceful nuclear research also can be applicable to bomb building,” he noted.
“To deny Iran the ‘capability’ would almost surely require a war between the United States and Iran, a course that some neocons have been quietly desiring for at least the past decade,” Parry added.
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program and have used this pretext to impose international and unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic and to call for a military strike against Tehran.
Iran has repeatedly refuted the Western allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.