Amos Yadlin - Alon Ron - 30112011
Amos Yadlin Photo by Alon Ron
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Iran has enough material to develop "four or five" nuclear bombs, former Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. (res. ) Amos Yadlin said on Tuesday, warning that Israel must maintain positive relations with members of the international community capable of dealing with the nuclear threat.

"Once Iran decides finally to move forward in developing a nuclear weapon, a whole new range of opportunities will open up for a fight that the international community will fight," Yadlin said in an address at the Institute for National Security Studies, where he is beginning a term as director.

"Israel is not alone in the game," Yadlin said. "When the Iranians publicly reveal that they are pushing toward a nuclear weapon, Israel will no longer be the central player in the game."

"This situation requires us to maintain good channels of dialogue and understanding with those who have better operational abilities than us," he added.

Western intelligence sources likely will know in advance if the Iranian Spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, plans to order the country to advance toward a nuclear weapon, he said.

This weekend, a general in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Yadollah Javani, threatened retaliation against Israel in the event of an attack on Iran's nuclear or security sites.

"If Israeli missiles hit one of our nuclear facilities or other vital centers, then they should know that any part of Israeli territory would be a target of our missiles, including their nuclear sites. They [Israel] know that we have the capability to do so," Javani told the ISNA news agency.

Javani's comments come in response to mounting speculation regarding a possible attack by Israel on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Iranian political and military officials have warned Israel that it would retaliate with Shahab-3 missiles capable of reaching any location in Israel.

Iranian volunteers affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards have held several gatherings in recent days and vowed a harsh response to any military attacks on nuclear sites.