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Iran's goal is to eliminate the state of Israel, Major General Amos Yadlin, the new head of Military Intelligence, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday in his maiden appearance before it.

Iran is likely to acquire the capability for manufacturing enriched uranium in industrial quantities within six months to a year, Yadlin said, and if its nuclear program suffers no disruptions, it will have its first nuclear bomb in three to four years.

But its nuclear program is only one component of Iran's plan to eliminate Israel, Yadlin added. Other elements include its development of the Shihab-3 missile, its support for Palestinian terror and its support for Hezbollah attacks on Israel from Lebanon.

Yadlin, who described Iran as the most serious threat currently facing Israel, stressed that statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about the need to "wipe Israel off the map" were not mere slips of the tongue, and should be taken seriously.