President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Iran has the capability to make a nuclear weapon "right now," but at this point, the country's leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has "not made a decision to obtain a nuclear weapon."
"It's a political decision for them. Not that they don't have the technical wherewithal, the technical competence, because they do," Clapper said Monday on PBS' "Charlie Rose."
According the CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan, the deal emerging from talks in Switzerland, between Secretary of State John Kerry, among other allies, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif would eliminate Iran's ability to produce enough uranium and plutonium to build a weapon for at least a decade. In exchange, sanctions on Iran would be gradually lifted.
Unlike Israel, whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Congress Tuesday lobbying against the negotiations with Iran, the U.S. is prepared to strike a deal that would fall short of forcing Iran to completely dismantle its existing nuclear program.
"They will maintain the expertise and the capability in all the realms it takes to produce nuclear weapons and deliver them," Clapper said.
Clapper also said Iran is backing Iraqi forces trying to recapture the city of Tikrit from ISIS. Iraq launched a new assault on Monday.
"In an advisory capacity, they brought in large amounts of weaponry, they fly UAVs over Iran. So, yes, they have a very robust commitment to the fight against ISIL in Iraq," Clapper said.