Iran 'can build nuclear bomb now'
An Israeli former intelligence chief has said that Iran could build a nuclear bomb any time it wants, a claim that could aggravate tensions between Israel and the United States and heighten fears that the Jewish state could launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Amos Yadlin, the military intelligence chief until his retirement in 2010, said Tehran had all the components necessary to build an atomic weapon, reflecting a prevailing Israeli view that Iran is on the verge of acquiring a nuclear bomb.
"If the Iranians get together tonight and decide to develop a bomb secretly, then they have all the resources and components to do so," General Yadlin told the Israeli newspaper Maariv. His comments came as General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Israel on a visit widely interpreted as an effort to divine the Jewish state's intentions towards Iran, and to warn it against taking any military action that could plunge the region into a new war.
Israel has repeatedly insisted that the military option remain on the table should diplomacy fail, declaring that Iran's nuclear ambitions pose an existential threat. Israel and the West have rejected Tehran's claims that its nuclear programme is peaceful, not military, in nature.
Washington, which said last month that Iran could have a nuclear bomb within a year if it chose, nevertheless believes that Tehran has not yet made the decision to build an atomic weapon and is insisting that Israel allows more time for tougher sanctions to take effect.
In remarks that appeared aimed at cooling tensions with the US, the Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, said on Wednesday that an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities was "very far off." He denied that General Dempsey's visit was intended to convey a message from the White House.
Concern in Washington over Israel's intentions has deepened at a time of heightened regional tensions, with Iran threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic oil shipping conduit.
Orphan kangaroos spend Christmas without their parents
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
Man 'armed to the teeth' arrested in Cannes market as France deploys 300 more soldiers
New route to Mars could make manned mission much cheaper and easier
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...