Gantz: Iran could have nuclear bomb within a year

"Iran is a global problem, a regional problem, and a problem for Israel," there is no doubt that Iran is working on developing a nuclear weapon, IDF chief of staff says at Herzliya Conference.

February 1, 2012 20:38
1 minute read.
Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor

Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor_150. (photo credit: Reuters)


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The world needs to develop a credible military option to stop Iran’s nuclear program, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said Wednesday, warning that if Iran chooses to, it could develop a nuclear weapon within 12 months.

“Iran is a global problem, a regional problem and a problem for Israel. Iran wants to solidify its regime by creating a nuclear deterrent,” Gantz said in a speech at the Herzliya Conference. “Israel is the only country which someone calls for its destruction, and is building the tools to do so.”

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Gantz also slammed Russia, which he said was continuing to supply Syria with advanced weaponry, even though it is unclear who will be in control of the country if and when Bashar Assad’s regime is toppled.

“The Middle East is undergoing the greatest military buildup in the world and we are the target,” he said.

Gantz said that a determined international campaign – including tough sanctions and the isolation of Iran – could succeed in convincing the Islamic Republic to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

“It is also important to continue building a credible, strong and viable military option and be prepared to use it when the time comes,” Gantz said.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the International Atomic Energy Agency said it would hold a second round of talks with Iran over concerns that it was working on developing a nuclear bomb.

A senior team from the IAEA returned to Vienna earlier Wednesday after three days of talks in Tehran. The IAEA later released a statement saying a new meeting would take place between February 21-22 in the Iranian capital.

“The Agency is committed to intensifying dialogue. It remains essential to make progress on substantive issues,” IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

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