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      Yaalon: 'Iran is Deceiving the West All the Way to a Bomb'

      Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon says Iran is using talks to buy time as it enriches enough uranium to build a bomb.
      By Gabe Kahn
      First Publish: 5/30/2012, 9:06 PM

      Moshe Yaalon
      Moshe Yaalon
      Flash 90

      Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon on Wednesday said "Iran is deceiving the West all the way to a bomb."

      For "the last three months, while it talks with world powers, Tehran has significantly accelerated the pace of Iranian nuclear enrichment, Yaalon said at an Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv

      In that time "they have produced 36 pounds, one-third of the amount that the Iranians need [for a bomb], has been enriched to 20% in the face of Western demands," he explained.

      Yaalon's comments echo those made in recent weeks by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak that Iran is using the talks to stall for time.

      “I see no evidence whatsoever that Iran is ready to end its nuclear program,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said shortly before last week's talks in Bagdad.

      Defense Minister Ehud Barak also told reporters last week he was "skeptical" that Iran was serious and charged Tehran was using the talks to buy time for nuclear weapons research.

      In contrast, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan - a known opponent of a military strike on Iran - said tonight that Israeli attack on Iran would be a mistake because it would shore up Iranian support for the Iranian leadership.

      "A strike could accelerate the procurement of the bomb," claimed Dagan at the same conference that Yaalon spoke at. "An attack isn't enough to stop the project."

      "Worse, not only will we fail to stop their nuclear bid, but we will solve their political and economic problems, as well,"Dagan said, arguing, "Israel will unite Iranians under one rule if she attacks."

      Dagan added, "Israel's ability to attack is very limited."

      However, former head of IDF intelligence Amos Yadlin, said  "It is precisely because we have a credible military option that it probably won't be needed."

      Western nations' willingness to impose sanctions on Iran "hint that Israel has achieved such military capability, and hence the extensive sanctions imposed on Iran," Yadlin said.