Carter: U.S. shouldn’t bomb Iran even if it has a nuclear weapon

Jimmy Carter says Iranians realize any use of nuclear weapons on their part would have disastrous consequences

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The United States should not launch an attack on Iran over its disputed nuclear program even in the event the Islamic Republic succeeded in building a nuclear bomb, said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in an interview earlier this week.

“I never have felt that Israel had a capability militarily to go 1,200 miles or more and bomb Iran effectively and then return back to Israel,” Carter told MSNBC, when asked to comment on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s suggestion that the Israel could attack Iran unilaterally.

“The only country on earth that has that capability would be the United States, and I don’t believe it’s appropriate for the United States to bomb Iran over this issue,” he added.

When asked if he would hold the same stance if Tehran possessed a nuclear weapon, Carter said:

“Well, you know, if they [Iran] got one nuclear weapon, Israel has, what, 300 or more, nobody knows exactly how many. And I know that every Iranian realizes that if they should try to use a nuclear weapon, Iran would be wiped off the face of the earth, which I think is so ridiculous, a self-destructive decision that they would not do it,” he said.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said Iran would need a two-month period to produce fissile material for an atomic weapon. Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes but the U. S. and its Western allies believe the Islamic Republic could use the technology for military purposes.

Iran and the P5+1 powers – Britain, France, China, Russia, Germany and the United States – are in talks to resolve the longstanding dispute over Tehran’s suspect nuclear program.

The P5+1 group is offering to remove years-old sanctions if Tehran agrees to strict long-term limits on any nuclear activities that could lead to development of an atomic weapon.

Israel, the sole country in the Middle East believed to have nuclear weapons, has threatened to attack its long-time foe Iran if diplomatic efforts fail.

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