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Israel ups anti-Iran rants as Bibi era nears

Source: Press TV

Israel claims Iran can build a nuclear weapon within a year as the hawkish Likud leader moves closer to assembling his government.

Iran will have the capacity to build a nuclear bomb within a year but is not rushing into production, the head of Israel's military intelligence, the director of Military Intelligence Major-General Amos Yadlin claimed on Wednesday.

"The Iranian strategy is not to get a nuclear bomb as soon as they can so as not to give the world a reason to act against them," Yadlin was quoted by Knesset members as telling the parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, AFP reported.

Iran says its nuclear program is directed at the civilian applications of the technology.

Israel, however, accuses Iran of having military objectives in its pursuit of nuclear technology and claims that Tehran poses an "existential threat" to Tel Aviv.

The remarks come shortly after Likud leader and Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu drew the Labor party into a coalition deal.

Netanyahu is known as "Mr. Iran" in Israeli circles as he has long pledged to do "everything that is necessary" to stop the progress of Tehran's nuclear program once and for all.

Netanyahu anticipates his right-wing dominated government to be involved in a "major military confrontation in the next few months".

Israeli military commanders and officials in Tel Aviv have long threatened to militarily take out Iran's nuclear sites, which are being fully monitored by the UN nuclear watchdog.

Maj. Gen. Yadlin, meanwhile, claimed Iranian scientists are operating some 4,000 centrifuges at the facilities and are enriching uranium "in a rate meant to make it very hard to incriminate them."

Uranium, the fuel for a nuclear power plant, can serve in military purposes if enriched to high levels of above 90 percent.

According to the latest International Atomic Energy Agency figures, Iran has produced nearly 1,010 kilograms of low enriched uranium (LEU) -- a level "less than 5 percent."

Tehran is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and, according to the UN nuclear watchdog, has not opted to violate the treaty.

... Payvand News - 03/26/09 ... --

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