President Barack Obama (R) meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office in March. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
The White House expressed confidence Friday that American intelligence will know if Iran escalates its nuclear program in a sprint to build an atomic bomb—a day after Israel's defense minister warned that the allies might not know "in time" to prevent it.
"We have eyes, we have visibility into the program," press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily briefing. "We feel confident that we would be able to detect a break-out move by Iran towards the acquisition of a nuclear weapon."
"We believe there continues to be the time and space to pursue this course," Carney said, referring to punishing American and international economic sanctions on the Islamic republic. "It is the best course of action to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon. We take no options off the table, and we consult with our allies all the time about the situation in Iran with regards to this program."
But Carney's professed confidence about the quality of the information regarding Iran's nuclear program, widely seen by American and Israeli officials as an attempt to acquire the ability to build a nuclear weapon, appeared to conflict sharply with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's just a day earlier.Read More »from U.S., Israel at odds over Iran nuke program intelligence