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Iran's Ahmadinejad. How soon will he have a bomb?
Photo: AFP
MI: Iran could have bomb by year's end
Head of research division of Military Intelligence tells Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Islamic republic could have enough fissile material for its first nuclear weapon by end of 2009. 'Iran's speed is extremely troubling,' he adds
Iran could have enough fissile material for a first nuclear bomb by the end of the year, the head of the research division of Military Intelligence told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.

 

According to Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz, "Iran is extremely troubling because of its speed. It has missiles which could reach Israel. The Iranian clock precedes the international dialogue clock."

 

In the meantime, the United States is determined to continue its diplomatic dialogue with the Islamic republic.

 

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told the Knesset committee recently that the army was preparing for all options.

 

"Iran continues with its plans. The existence of nuclear weapons in Iran's possession could destabilize the situation in the entire Middle East," Ashkenazi had said.

 

"There is a dialogue between the US and Iran which will undoubtedly fail, but as far as we are concerned this is also the preferred way to halt the project. However, as an army chief it is my duty to prepare all the options, and that's what we're doing."

 

Addressing the situation in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, Baidatz said that "Hamas is successfully continuing the smuggling. Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) expects American pressure on Israel.

 

"Hizbullah has deployed north and south of the Litani, with missiles which could reach deep inside Israel."

 

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