New MI chief: Iran could have nukes within two years
Brigadier-General Aviv Kochavi tells MKs that Iran could quickly develop the bomb, but it is not in its interests at the moment.
Iran will be able to achieve a nuclear bomb within one or two years, the incoming head of Israel's Military Intelligence said Tuesday, but added that such a move would depend on the will of the Tehran leadership.
"The question is not when Iran will have the bomb. The question is how long it will take for an Iranian leader to decide to have the centrifuges start enriching at 90 percent," Brigadier-General Aviv Kochavi told a meeting of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Kochavi said he does not expect an Iranian leader to make such a decision in the next year out of a fear of harming the government, which is already paying an economic price over fear of their nuclear program.
"At this moment, it is not in Iran's interest to move their [nuclear] program forward," Kochavi said.
Iran's regime is guarding [the country's] stability despite the sanctions against it," Kochavi said. "The sanctions don't hurt their nuclear development program or the strengthening of their military. Rather the sanctions affect the country's economy and citizens."
"The Iranian regime's drastic reduction in public subsidies, especially in the price of gasoline in the country, which happened in the past year, gives the government an extra 600 million dollars a year," Kochavi added.
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