Iran not working on bomb: Israel intelligence head

JERUSALEM — Iran is not currently working on producing a nuclear weapon but could make one within “a year or two” of taking such a decision, Israel’s military intelligence chief said on Tuesday.

“The question is not when Iran will acquire the bomb, but how long until the leader decides to begin enriching (uranium) at 90 percent,” Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi told parliament’s foreign affairs and defence committee in his first briefing since taking up the role in November.

Once such a decision is made, it would take “a year or two” to produce a nuclear warhead, he said, adding that Iran would then need more time to develop an effective missile delivery system for it.

Kochavi said it was unlikely that Iran, which currently enriches uranium to 20 percent, would start enriching it to the 90 percent level needed for a bomb, because it would be in open breach of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty exposing it to harsher sanctions or even a US or Israeli military strike.

He said Iran was reluctant to do this at a time when the country was going through a period of “instability” and “religious tension.”

“At the moment, it’s not in Iran’s interest to move their programme ahead,” he told the committee.

Recently, several senior Israeli officials, including the former head of the Mossad overseas intelligence agency, Meir Dagan, have said that Iran is unlikely to acq… >>>

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