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. 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.

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