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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A US intelligence report that says Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 is flawed, former deputy defense minister, MK Ephraim Sneh (Labor) said Saturday.
The US report, or National Intelligence Estimate, does not give sufficient weight to Iran's continued enrichment of uranium and its threats to destroy Israel, Sneh told Israel Radio.
The report will make it more difficult for the US to push for harsher UN sanctions against Iran, by providing an excuse to countries that have been reluctant to step up pressure on Teheran, Sneh said.
"Those who don't want to join the US initiative for sanctions can wave it (this report)," Sneh said, describing the US intelligence assessment as "very flawed."
Sneh said Iran continues to pose an existential threat to Israel. "We don't need any additional evidence. Just listen to what the Iranian leaders are saying ... who are committed to the destruction of Israel," he said.
Sneh said the report was a reminder that "on existential issues, we just have to rely on ourselves."
However, when asked whether this meant Israel might act alone against Iran, he reiterated the need for tougher economic sanctions.
Amos Gilad, who heads the Defense Ministry's Diplomatic-Military Bureau, also said Iran continues to pose a serious threat.
"The Iranians are determined to obtain nuclear weapons," he told Israel Radio.
He said it was doubtful oil-rich Iran would be developing nuclear energy. He also noted that Iran is continuing to enrich uranium and developing long-range missiles. "All this points to the fact that the intentions here are not innocent," he said.
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