Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama says he will consider all options, even a military one, to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Obama told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobby group, that “all elements of American power” remain viable options to stop Iran from achieving nuclear military capabilities.

He added, however, that talk of war with Iran may be benefiting Iran by pushing up the price of oil.

Obama also went on to say that U.S. intelligence organizations believe that Iran has not yet decided to pursue the building of nuclear weapons.

Iranian authorities have always maintained that their nuclear program is peaceful and they are not after nuclear weapons.

Israel has said that it is prepared to attack Iran in order to halt its nuclear program. Iran has responded to Israeli threats saying that it is prepared to retaliate in kind.

Russia, France and Turkey have denounced the prospect of any military attack on Iran, saying such a move would be “catastrophic.”

The European Union and the United States, however, have concentrated on increasing international sanctions against Iran to force its hand in the nuclear disputes.

Currently their focus is on Iran’s petroleum exports. While the EU has put an embargo on Iranian oil that takes full effect in July 2012, the U.S. has been hard at work trying to persuade Iran’s Asian petroleum customers to cut down on their oil imports from Iran.