Israeli intelligence chief warns of Iranian nuke development
Xinhua – March 25, 2009
Israeli Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin warned Wednesday that Iran has mastered uranium enrichment technologies and can pursue nuclear military capabilities.
"The Iranians have finished developing surface-to-surface missile which can carry a nuclear warhead," Yadlin told the Knesset(parliament)'s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
"The Iranian strategy is not to get one nuclear bomb as soon as they can, so as not to give the world a reason to act against them," said Yadlin. "They are trying to get within short term reach of a bomb and they are enriching uranium in a rate meant to make it very hard to incriminate them," he added.
According to Yadlin, Tehran's uranium enrichment rate stands at4.5 percent, below nuclear weapon grade, while the bottleneck in Iran's nuclear weapons program was in obtaining fissionable material.
The top military intelligence official called for the international community to use "a correct combination of diplomacy and carrot-and-stick policy" against Iran's nuclear program.
"The Iranian threat is a threat to the global order and not just to Israel," he noted.
Israeli officials have long identified a nuclear Iran as the most serious threat to the Jewish state.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for destruction of Israel. The Islamic Republic has also tested long-range missiles that could reach Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that Iran represents an existential threat to the Jewish state, had raised concern over Iran's nuclear program to the new U.S. administration led by Barack Obama.
Zalman Shoval, a former ambassador to Washington and foreign relations chief of Netanyahu's Likud party, said earlier this month that Netanyahu and Obama have agreed that stopping Iran from getting a nuclear bomb is a top priority
Last updated 28/03/2009