Yadlin. Grim forecast
Photo: Haim Zach

MI chief: Iran capable of creating bomb

Following US army declaration that Tehran has enough nuclear material to make bomb, Major-General Amos Yadlin tells cabinet ministers Iranians have crossed technological threshold but have yet to change their strategy

Military Intelligence chief Major-General Amos Yadlin told the cabinet meeting on Sunday that "Iran has crossed the technological threshold, so that reaching a military nuclear ability is only a matter of matching the strategy to the goal of creating a nuclear bomb."


According to Yadlin, "Iran continues to accumulate hundreds of kilograms of enriched uranium of poor quality, and hopes to take advantage of its dialogue with the West and the government in Washington in order to advance towards creating a nuclear bomb."


The Military Intelligence chief went on to say that "the Middle East is viewing the plan for Iran's nuclearization and the dialogue with the new administration in Washington cautiously. The moderates fear that this approach will be at their expense and will be used by the radical axis while continuing the acts of terror and arming.


"The radical axis, on the other hand, thinks that there is a change in the US stand but that the activity against them will continue nonetheless."


Yadlin also addressed the talks between the Fatah and Hamas factions and the possibility of a Palestinian unity government.


"Hamas is taking advantage of these talks to break through the international isolation and restore the organization. Combining the interests of Fatah and Hamas may lead to a technocrat government, which will focus on rebuilding Gaza and advancing Palestinian elections, but this won't be a government bridging the wide ideological differences between the two sides."


'Financial crisis affecting Hizbullah'

As for Hizbullah, the MI chief said that the Shiite Lebanese organization "is still restrained and deterred. The economic crisis is not skipping on the radical axis, and Hizbullah and Syria are finding it difficult to finance the transfer of weapons, as well as promoting the organization's interests in the Lebanon elections."


US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said last week that he United States believes Iran has stockpiled enough nuclear fuel to make a bomb.


"We think they do, quite frankly," Mullen said on CNN's "State of the Union" program when asked whether Iran has enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon.


US Defense Secretary Robert Gates contradicted this statement several hours later, saying that the Iranians "are not close to a stockpile, they're not close to a weapon at this point, and so there is some time.


According to figures released by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran has managed to enrich 1,010 kilograms (2,226 pounds) of low quality uranium (3.5%) – an amount which is almost sufficient for the creation of 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of high quality enriched uranium (90%) needed for the development of an atom bomb.


The full amount of low quality enriched uranium needed for the creation of one nuclear bomb is 1,500 kilograms (3,306 pounds).


Reuters contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 03.08.09, 15:12
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