CIA Says Iran Inching Toward Nuke Capability

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WASHINGTON -- The possibility of Iran's Islamic regime wielding nuclear weapons has long kept U.S. officials up at night. Now their nightmare scenario is becoming all too real.

A new Central Intelligence Agency report to Congress revealed that, despite some technical setbacks and international pressure, Iran is quickly developing the ability to produce a nuclear bomb.

In a joint appearance Tuesday at the White House with French President Nicholas Sarkozy, President Obama talked tough about pursuing sanctions against the Iranians.

Weeks, Not Months

"I'm not interested in waiting months for a sanctions regime to be in place," Obama said. "I'm interested in seeing that regime in place in weeks."

Yet he acknowledged that several pivotal countries have yet to get on board. It is crucial to get both Russia and China's support for meaningful U.N. sanctions, but both countries have strong economic ties to Tehran.

"There are a lot of countries around the world that, regardless of Iran's offenses, are thinking that their commercial interests are more important to them than these long-term geopolitical interests," the president said.

Is President Obama serious about dealing Iran over its nuclear ambitions? Pat Robertson weighed in on the matter on Wednesday's The 700 Club. Click here for his comments.

Defected Iranian Scientist

The CIA's report comes amid news that top-ranking Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri has defected to the U.S. and is now working closely with the CIA.

Amiri went missing last June while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. Afterwards, Iran accused Saudia Arabia of kidnapping and turning him over to the United States.

CBN News International Correspondent George Thomas has been tracking the details of this high-level defection. Click play for his comments.

ABC News reports the scientist Amiri has shared vital information on the Iranian nuclear program.

The question now is what the U.S. and its allies will do about it.

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Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Correspondent

Erick Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, and print media. Stakelbeck is a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News.  Follow Erick on Twitter @Staks33.