Barak says Iranians making good progress
Photo: AP

Barak: Iran nuke program 'quite advanced'

Defense minister tells Washington Post Israel suspects Iran 'much beyond level of Manhattan Project'

Israel suspects that Iran is pursuing a clandestine nuclear enrichment operation and is "probably already working on warheads for ground-to-ground missiles," Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Washington Post in an interview published Saturday.


"Our interpretation is that clearly the Iranians are aiming at nuclear capability. It's probably true that…we think that they are quite advanced, much beyond the level of the Manhattan Project," Barak said.


The defense minister questioned the American intelligence estimate that concluded Iran halted its nuclear program back in 2003.


"The dots that we see…cannot be easily connected in a way that does not lead to a nuclear program," Barak said. "The leading intelligence communities should concentrate on finding whether there is…a clandestine enrichment operation and a weapons group working on the weapons technology."


Barak mum on possibility of Israeli strike

Barak conceded that the US estimate "reduced the enthusiasm" for a military strike on Iran or for tougher sanctions on Tehran.


The defense minister stressed that in order to deal with the threat of radical Islamic terror, nuclear proliferation, and rogue states, global powers need to cooperate more closely, and particularly the US, EU, Russia and China.


Barak refused to comment on whether Israel has the ability to strike Iran on its own, and also did not say what he intends to do following the publication of the Winograd Report.


”I will read the report and decide what is best for the country, Barak said.


פרסום ראשון: 01.26.08, 17:58
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