Barak: Iran Preparing Nuclear Warheads|
20 Shevat 5768, 27 January 08 02:17
(IsraelNN.com) Defense Minister Ehud Barak sounded an alarming note in a
weekend interview with the Washington Post, and made it clear he did not agree
with the recent U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, according to which Iran has
halted its nuclear weapons program.
Asked about the NIE, Barak said: "Our interpretation is that clearly the
Iranians are aiming at nuclear capability. It's probably true that . . .
they may have slowed down the weapons group in 2003, because it was the
height of American militarism. . . We think that they are quite
advanced, much beyond the level of the Manhattan Project.
The Manhattan Project was the effort to develop the first nuclear weapon
during World War II by the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The
project succeeded in developing and testing the world's first atomic bomb, and
detonated two nuclear weapons in August 1945: an enriched uranium bomb that was
dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, and a plutonium bomb that detonated over Nagasaki,
Japan. Barak's statement regarding "American militarism" in 2003 was a
reference to the invasion of Iraq.
The dots lead to a nuclear program
Barak said Israel
suspects the Iranians "are probably already working on warheads for
ground-to-ground missiles. . . [and] that probably they have another clandestine
enrichment operation beyond the one in Natanz."
Asked to elaborate on
this last statement, Barak answered: "The dots that we see . . . cannot be
easily connected in a way that does not lead to a nuclear program. . . The
leading intelligence communities should concentrate on finding whether there is
. . . a clandestine enrichment operation and a weapons group working on the
Barak told the Post that it was clear that the NIE
had "reduced the enthusiasm" for military action against Iran, and even for
tougher sanctions. "Basically, in strategic terms," he explained, "we face a
triad of challenges: one, radical Muslim terror; two, nuclear proliferation; and
[three] rogue states. To deal with such threats . . . we need a much deeper and
more intimate cooperation between the United States, the E.U., Russia and China.
And this needs a paradigm shift in the way we approach China and
Asked if Israel has the ability to conduct a military raid on
Iran by itself, Barak said; "I am not going to talk about this."
Iranian: Israel threatens us
Meanwhile, Iran's Foreign
Minister Manouchehr Mottaki gave a rare, if short, interview, to Voice of Israel
national radio, in the course of the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland.
"Iran is not threatening Israel and does not want nuclear weapons."
Mottaki said that it was Israel that possessed nuclear weapons and "it is
threatening Teheran." He added that there were two countries Iran did not
recognize: apartheid-era South Africa and Israel. "In the case of South Africa,
the problem was solved with the end of apartheid and if the situation also
changes in the other case [Israel], there is no reason why relations with that
country cannot change too," he added.
Original article: Israel National News
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