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Halutz: Iran Three Months From the Bomb

IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Iran will have the technology to develop an atomic bomb within three months.
First Publish: 12/14/2005, 1:27 PM / Last Update: 12/13/2005, 6:23 PM

He said that by March, Iran will have reached “the point of no return” in its capability to build the bomb.

Halutz emphasized, however, that despite its technological capability, Iran will not pose an immediate threat to Israel. He said that Teheran would still have to overcome a number of obstacles before it would actually be able to make use of any weapon it could make.

While not specifying what obstacles Iran faced, he said that Israel estimates that Iran will have an actual atomic bomb ready for firing between the years 2008-2015.

Committee Chairman MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) criticized Halutz’s use of the term “point of no return.”

“I don’t recognize a clear definition of this term, when we’re discussing a process of developing nuclear weapons,” Steinitz said. “The process of development is subject to being halted and dismantled at any stage, and it’s preferable not to use [that term] so as not to confuse the public.”

“Moreover, it is clear that the Iranians are well on their way to developing nuclear weapons. The time that’s left for us and for the world is running out,” he added.

Halutz reportedly accepted Steinitz’s criticism of his terminology.