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. Iran may be 'six months' from nuclear bomb: Israeli FM
PARIS (AFP) Oct 27, 2005
Iran may be only six months from having the necessary means to make an atomic bomb, Israeli Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom said Thursday, urging quick international action on Tehran's nuclear program.

"The next meeting of the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) is a crucial meeting, because there is a limit of time until (Iran) will have a full knowledge of how to develop a nuclear bomb," Shalom said after meeting with his French counterpart Philippe Douste-Blazy.

"It may only be six months from today," he added.

Shalom spoke a day after the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be "wiped from the map", drawing international condemnation.

The IAEA's 35-nation board of governors in September found Iran in non-compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, paving the way for the matter to be referred to the UN Security Council if Iran does not halt nuclear fuel work and cooperate fully with an IAEA investigation.

The matter is to be taken up at the next IAEA board meeting in Vienna on November 24.

The vote followed a collapse in talks led by Britain, France and Germany to get Iran to voluntarily limit its nuclear fuel work in exchange for trade benefits after Tehran broke a pledge and resumed fuel activities.

"The French determination is very important because France is a key player", Shalom said Thursday, calling for "the whole international community" to unite "to stop the Iranians."

"The Iranians are developing now missiles with much longer range than Israel," Shalom said.

The new missiles would have "a range of 3,000 kilometres (1,800 miles) that will include all the capitals of Europe within that range: Paris, Berlin, London, Rome, Madrid... It's a tyranny that should be stopped immediately."

Israel has repeatedly warned Iran may be close to developing a nuclear weapon.

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