Saturday, May 14, 2005

Israel Says Iran will have Nuclear Bomb Knowledge Soon

Iran will have the technological know-how within six to nine months to build a nuclear bomb, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said on Friday. "They (the Iranians) have one aim -- to achieve the capability to produce a nuclear bomb," Shalom told Israel Radio.

"The important question is not whether they will have a bomb in 2009, 2010 or 2011, but when they will have the know-how to produce a bomb. According to our estimates, we are talking about six to nine months," he said. READ MORE

Shalom, whose country is widely believed to have some 200 atomic bombs, said a nuclear Iran would pose "an existential threat" to Israel.

Iran has called for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Shalom made the comments after France, Britain and Germany warned Iran they would break off talks and join Washington in seeking U.N. Security Council action if Tehran made good on its threats to resume atomic work.

Iran insists its atomic fuel program is only for nuclear power plants, not for arms.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon voiced concern last month the world was growing accustomed to the idea Iran would build a nuclear bomb. But he said he preferred economic and diplomatic pressure, rather than military action, against Iran at this stage.