March 9, 2009

Israel intel chief: Iran has crossed “nuclear threshold”

israel_iran_nuclearYesterday, Israel’s head of military intelligence said that Iran has crossed the “technological threshold” of nuclear capability and can now build a nuclear bomb.

Major General Amos Yadlin  said “Iran is continuing to amass hundreds of kilograms of low-enriched uranium, and it hopes to exploit the dialogue with the West and Washington to advance toward the production of an atomic bomb.”
While acknowledging that Iran does not currently possess a nuclear weapon, Yadlin stated that its decision to produce one depends entirely on a political decision in Tehran.
The statement followed the release of a report in Washington last week that determined that Israel is seriously considering unilateral military action against Iran.  The report, organized by the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy, included a handful of experts who have since joined the Obama administration–most notably Dennis Ross, the Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the Gulf and Soutwest Asia.
While the election of Barack Obama greatly diminished the prospects of a US attack on Iran, recent developments in Israel have made the situation much more dire.  The hardline government of Binyamin Netanyahu is set to take over in a matter of weeks, and with intelligence officials and scholars ratcheting up the rhetoric about a preemptive strike, the possibility of a confrontation seems to be creeping back into view.

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