Tags: israel | iran | nuclear | bomb

Israel: Iran Could Build Nuke by Year's End

Monday, 01 Jun 2009 09:29 PM

Teheran could have enough low-grade uranium to build a nuclear bomb by the end of the summer, Brig.-Gen. Yossi Baidatz, head of Israel’s defense establishment’s research division, warned the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.

Iran would not be able to immediately deploy a nuclear weapon, as the low-enrichment uranium would have to be processed into highly-enriched weapons-grade material before it could be used for a bomb, The Jerusalem Report reported.

Baidatz's comments echoed those of his boss, Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, who told the committee last month that "Iran is intentionally advancing its nuclear development in such a way so as not to cross any nuclear red lines, by enriching low-grade uranium that is not sufficient for weapons development, but that can quickly be adapted to weapons-grade uranium in such a short period of time that the process can't be sabotaged."

But Baidatz added that there is "no connection between Teheran's diplomatic engagement and the trajectory of the military nuclear effort to attain the bomb" - and that the nuclear trajectory was outpacing the diplomatic one.

Iran was closely watching the Obama administration’s response to North Korea's nuclear tests, and moderate Arab countries were closely monitoring Iran's nuclear aspirations, Baidatz said, according to the Post.

The nation’s June 12's Iranian elections are essentially irrelevant, he argued. Both of the leading candidates - incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and reformist challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi - are equally worrisome for Israel.

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