Can Iran Make a Bomb...Whose Word to Trust?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On March 2, Navy Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN that he believed that Iran has enough “fissile material” to build a nuclear bomb. His position was supported by the Israeli government. According to a press briefing in Jerusalem, Israel’s chief of military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin said that the Iranian government is stockpiling low-level enriched uranium in preparation for manufacturing a nuclear bomb. However, on the same day that Mullen issued his warning, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” stated that the Iranians “are not close to a stockpile; they are not close to a weapon at this point.” On Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair supported the Gates position, explaining to the Senate Armed Services Committee that “the intelligence community agrees on this—that Iran has not decided to press forward…to have a nuclear weapon on top of a ballistic missile.” He estimated that “the minimum time at which Iran could technically produce the amount of highly enriched uranium for a single weapon is 2010 to 2015.” He said that the Israelis are working from the same set of facts as the Americans, but choose to interpret them differently.”

U.S., Israel Disagree on Iran Arms Threat (by Peter Finn, Washington Post)
Iran has Enough Nuclear Material for a Bomb, Mullen Says (by Julian E. Barnes, Los Angeles Times)


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