UN: Iran Must Prove Nuke Program Is Peaceful

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Officials in both Jerusalem and Washington sounded new warnings Wednesday about Iran's nuclear program and the possibility of an attack.

In Jerusalem for a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon couldn't hide the fact that Iran is a growing world threat.

"I have been urging the Iranian authorities to prove that their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes," Ki-moon said. "I think they have not yet convinced the international community."

"These issues can be resolved in a peaceful way through dialogue. There is no alternative to a peaceful resolution," he continued.

Peres addressed the Islamic regime more forcefully.

"Iran is not only trying to build a bomb, but they're activating all sorts of terror in the Middle East," he charged. "They are killing the people of Gaza by sending them missiles, by urging them to fight, by refusing to make peace."

"It's a scandal we left Gaza. Look what they are trying to do," Peres added.

For more on the threat from Iran, CBN News spoke to Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The warnings in Jerusalem came just one day after U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper warned lawmakers that Iran could attack sites in the United States.

"I think they are, consistent with their outreach elsewhere, they are trying as well to engage in this, in this hemisphere," Clapper testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday.

He added that Iran is sending more spies to the U.S. in the wake of the failed attempt to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington.

Tehran is also aiding Hezbollah cells in Latin America. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently visited Latin America to cultivate ties with the Castro regime in Cuba and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

The warnings from both hemispheres, along with Iran's threat to cut off oil shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz, are a sign that foreign relations will likely get even more tense in the weeks ahead.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, suggested the U.S. strike while the iron is hot.

"I think 2012 will be a critical year for convincing or preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon," Feinstein said.

"While the overall terrorist threat may be down, the threat from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction from Iran and North Korea is growing," she warned.

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John Waage

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John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.