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U.S. Tells Israel Iran’s Nuclear Threat Is Not Imminent [View All]

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-10 08:31 PM
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U.S. Tells Israel Iran’s Nuclear Threat Is Not Imminent
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Source: New York Times

U.S. Tells Israel Iran’s Nuclear Threat Is Not Imminent

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, citing evidence of continued troubles inside Iran’s nuclear program, has persuaded Israel that it would take roughly a year — and perhaps longer — for Iran to complete what one senior official called a “dash” for a nuclear weapon, according to American officials.

White House officials said they believe the assessment has dimmed the prospect that Israel would pre-emptively strike against the country’s nuclear facilities within the next year, as Israeli officials have suggested in thinly veiled threats.

For years, Israeli and American officials have debated whether Iran is on an inexorable drive toward a nuclear bomb and, if so, how long it would take to produce one. A critical question has been the time it would take Tehran to convert existing stocks of low-enriched uranium into weapons-grade material, a process commonly known as “breakout.”

Israeli intelligence officials had argued that Iran could complete such a race for the bomb in months, while American intelligence agencies have come to believe in the past year that the timeline is longer.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/world/middleeast/20po...
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