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article imageIsraeli intelligence minister: Iran plans 30 nuclear bombs a year

By Michael Krebs     Jun 11, 2013 in World
In the backdrop of an Iranian election that features nuclear hard lines from all 8 candidates, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz asserts that Iran is determined to establish the ability to create 30 nuclear bombs a year.
Long-term stability in the Middle East appeared to face considerable headwinds on Monday, as Iran's nuclear ambitions remained in the spotlight - drawing fresh concerns from Israel and inspiring greater defiance among all 8 candidates in Iran's closely-watched presidential race.
“Negotiating with Satan is against the Koran,” supporters of Iranian presidential candidate Saeed Jalili stated in hand-crafted signs, according to The New York Times.
All 8 candidates running for president in Iran openly oppose negotiating with the West on the nation's controversial nuclear aspirations, and the hard line - at least through the eyes of Iranians - is due to U.S.-led sanctions.
“Year after year, America has imposed harsher sanctions on us,” Nader Karimi Joni, an Iranian journalist told The New York Times. “Now, with these candidates, we see the consequences: the sanctions hurt, but they have made our leaders much more determined.”
Iran's nuclear advances are on the front of the minds of the Israelis, and Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz spoke out on Monday, insisting that the Iranian authorities are planning to build as much as 30 nuclear bombs a year, as AFP reported.
Steinitz asserted that Iran is now "very close" to crossing the red line that both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama have ascertained cannot be crossed.
"The Iranians are getting very close now to the red line... They have close to 200 kilos -- 190 kilos (418 pounds) -- of 20 percent enriched uranium," Steinitz told reporters in Jerusalem.
More about Israel, Iran, Nuclear weapons, Nuclear facility, Middle East
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