Washington: Claiming that Iran is a "threat" to the America`s national security, a top Pentagon official has told the lawmakers that the country is determined to prevent the former from acquiring nuclear weapons.
"Iran is a threat to US national security in many ways, not simply their move toward the potential to develop a nuclear weapon," General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a Congressional hearing on Monday.
"I choose my words carefully, because the intelligence community has not yet come to a conclusion that they intend to build a nuclear weapon, but they`re certainly preserving and building on their options to do so, which should be of concern to all of us and is," he said in response to a question.
"We have been very clear as a nation that we are determined to prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon because it would be so destabilizing to the region. But they are also active in cyber. They`ve got surrogates all over the region and all over the world. They proliferate arms. They are a disruptive influence globally. And so I do consider them a threat to our national security," Dempsey said.
The US Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, said the US remains focused on preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
"It`s certainly giving them options to move in that direction," he said when Senator Lindsay Graham asked: "Do you think what they`re doing with the centrifuges is designed to produce weapons material or just peaceful power?"