Israel accuses Iran of resuming suspect nuclear activities
JERUSALEM (AFP) Jul 19, 2004
Israel on Monday accused its archfoe Iran of resuming suspect nuclear activities linked to the production of enriched uranium which can be used to build atomic bombs.

A military intelligence officer also told a parliamentary committee he could not rule out the possibility that the Lebanese fundamentalist Shiite movement Hezbollah could acquire non-conventional weapons from Iran, military radio reported.

The officer said Iran's activities -- which he did not specify -- contravened commitments by Tehran to the UN nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran has announced it would resume the assembly of centrifuges -- used to enrich uranium in the most sensitive part of the fuel cycle -- but said it was committed to an accord to allow tougher IAEA inspections, make a full declaration of its activities and suspend enrichment itself.

The IAEA is probing allegations that the country is using power generation as a cover for a secret weapons drive but Tehran insists its programme is solely aimed at meeting the future energy needs of a burgeoning population and freeing up its oil and gas resources for export.

Israel's military intelligence chief General Aharon Zeevi Farkash said earlier this month he believed Iran could build a nuclear weapon by 2007.

Unlike Israel, which is widely thought to possess up to 200 nuclear warheads, Iran has signed up to the IAEA's nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).