Putting a more specific estimate that he has in the past on the issue of how long it might take Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, President Obama has told Israel's Channel 2 TV that it could happen in "over a year or so" if efforts to dissuade Iran do not succeed.
The president also said that while he wants to resolve the issue diplomatically, he is keeping "all options on the table."
For its part, Iran has long said its nuclear program is only aimed a peaceful uses for that energy source.
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, went before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday in a bit of a sour mood. He led off complaining that he had to speak publicly at all.
"An open hearing on intelligence matters," Clapper said, "is a contradiction in terms." And then, before getting to any international problems Clapper hit a domestic one: the spending cuts mandated under the sequestration package.
South Korea upped the ante Wednesday after Pyongyang threatened to scrap the armistice that ended a brutal war between the rival neighbors in 1953, promising retaliation for any North Korean attack.
"If North Korea carries out provocations that threaten the lives and safety of South Koreans, our military will carry out strong and resolute retaliations," South Korea's Gen. Kim Yong-hyun told reporters in Seoul.
Officials at six-nation nuclear talks on limiting Iran's nuclear program say the two-day meeting in Kazakhstan has been a turning point, and Tehran's lead negotiator described the discussions as a positive step.
But NPR's Peter Kenyon, reporting from the talks in Almaty, says it appears that most of what was accomplished was simply laying the groundwork for future discussions.