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. Iran very close to getting nuclear arms: Israel
JERUSALEM, May 12 (AFP) May 12, 2009
Iran is very close to acquiring nuclear weapons, the head of Israel's military intelligence was reported as telling a powerful parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

"Iran is at the moment very close to getting a military nuclear arsenal," Amos Yadlin told parliament's foreign affairs and defence committee, adding that "Iran can manage to stabilise its military nuclear programme by 2010."

"The Iranian strategy was not to get the international community against it, but to discreetly continue nuclear armament without crossing red lines," he was quoted by Israeli media as saying.

Yadlin also excluded the possibility of war in the region in the coming year. Israeli officials have said several times that they were keeping all options on the table in dealing with Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

On March 25, Yadlin told the same committee that Iran will have the capacity to build a nuclear bomb within a year but is not rushing into production.

Israel, widely considered to be the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says its atomic programme is purely for peaceful purposes.

Israel considers the Islamic Republic to be its main enemy due to numerous statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Jewish state should be "wiped off the map."

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