Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says America's national security priority should be preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and he was talking tough about this in his recent stop in Jerusalem.
"History teaches with force and clarity that when the world's most despotic regimes secure the world's most destructive weapons, peace often gives way to oppression, to violence, or to devastating war," Romney said. "We must not delude ourselves into thinking that containment is an option."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers a speech under a portrait of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on June 2. The supreme leader has said repeatedly that nuclear weapons are un-Islamic and Iran will not pursue them. But in the West, many are skeptical.
In its periodic report on Iran's nuclear program, the United Nation's nuclear watchdog said it found traces of uranium enriched to a level higher than it had previously reported.
NPR's Mike Shuster filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"When International Atomic Energy Agency monitors carry out routine inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, they take environmental samples to help them determine the nature of uranium enrichment underway.
One Iranian site of particular interest to U.S. intelligence officials is the military complex at Parchin, about 20 miles southeast of the capital, Tehran. The complex is shown here in a 2004 satellite image.
The latest talks in Baghdad over Iran's nuclear program have prompted the usual arguments. Iran says it has only peaceful intentions. Israeli leaders scoff at that claim. Other world powers are unsure of Iran's intentions and demand that it take steps to show that it is not pursuing nuclear weapons.
The CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies, meanwhile, are sticking with the assessment they made in November 2007, when they reported that Iran "halted its nuclear weapons program" in 2003 and apparently had not restarted it.