Iran nuke a 'a couple of years' away: Petraeus
WASHINGTON, March 29 (AFP) Mar 29, 2009
Iran is still "a couple of years" away from having enough highly enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon, the commander of US forces in the Middle East said Sunday.
"The bottom line: we think it's a couple of years away in that regard. It could be more, could be a little bit less," General David Petraeus, the head of the US Central Command, said in interview on CNN.
"There are certainly a lot of facts that we don't know about what goes on inside Iran," he added.
The United States and its European allies fear that Tehran intends to acquire a nuclear weapon under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, which Iran denies.
But Petraeus noted that to acquire a weapon, Iran must have enough highly enriched uranium, must make a warhead and have long-range missiles capable of delivering them. US intelligence believes Iran halted a secret program to design a nuclear weapon in 2003.
On the other hand, the head of Israeli military intelligence, Major General Amos Yadlin, predicted last week that Iran will have the capacity to build a nuclear weapon within a year but is not rushing to produce one.
"The Iranian strategy is not to get a nuclear bomb as soon as they can so as not to give the world a reason to act against them," Yadlin told the Israeli parliament.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.