JERUSALEM — Israel’s defense minister says his country had interpreted Iran's conversion of some enriched uranium fuel rods for civilian use as proof that Iran was not immediately building a nuclear weapon, The New York Time
The interview sheds light for the first time as to why Israel, specifically Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had backed off increasingly harsh threats of a military strike if Iran continued on a path towards nuclear capabilities.
Netanyahu's stance had created a tense situation with the Obama administration which did not believe Iran would have such capabilities in the immediate future.
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Barak, who was visiting London, said an immediate crisis was prevented because Iran put some enriched uranium fuel rods in a medical research reactor. That conversion makes it difficult to use mlitarily.
Barak speculated as to why Iran would have diverted the rods for such use.
Iran has said it wants to develop its nuclear programs for non-military uses.
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