Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says Iran has pulled back from its effort to build a nuclear weapon, averting a possible military showdown for the time being.
In an interview with Britain's "Daily Telegraph" newspaper, Barak said an immediate crisis was avoided over the summer when Iran chose to use more than one-third of its medium-enriched uranium for civilian purposes.
This pushed back the timeline for Iran potentially trying to build an atomic bomb, he suggested.
Barak said, however, that the Iranian move only delayed what he called the "moment of truth" by "eight to 10 months," and said Israel and its allies may have to confront Iran again in the summer of 2013.
He said any "operation against Iran" would be safter "now" than after Tehran was nuclear-armed.
Iran rejects Israeli and Western allegations it is seeking to build a nuclear weapon.
Based on reporting from telegraph.co.uk, Reuters, and AFP
Copyright (c) 2012 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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