MI Chief: Iran Has Crossed Nuclear Bomb Threshold

Yadlin tells Knesset panel Iran developed surface-to-surface missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.

Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told lawmakers on Wednesday that Iran has "crossed the technological threshold" for making a nuclear bomb.

He told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the Islamic Republic has developed surface-to-surface missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.

Yadlin said achieving a military nuclear capacity "was mainly dependent on a political decision by Iran."

According to Yadlin, the bottleneck in Iran's nuclear weapons program was in obtaining fissionable material.

He said the Islamic Republic's strategy is not merely to produce one bomb, which could force them into a conflict with the world, but to enrich a large amount of fissionable material at a low level of 4.5 percent. But Iran claims that it needs to do this for civilian purposes only, Yadlin said.

The Iranians enrich between one and two kilos of low grade uranium, Yadlin said. However, once they decide to bring that to weapon's grade enrichment levels (93%) they could produce the amount needed for a bomb within several months to a year.

In spite of the harsh reality he described, the MI chief claimed that the "battle to prevent a nuclear Iran is not yet lost."

"The right combination of talks and sanctions, the carrot and the stick, could," Yadlin said, "bring about a change in Iran's policies."

Yadlin also addressed lawmakers on the Hamas leadership in Gaza, saying that the Islamist organization was preparing itself for another round of fighting.

Weapons that Hamas lacked during Operation Cast Lead, such as long-range rockets, and anti-aircraft and anti-tank weaponry, are being smuggled into Gaza, Yadlin said, adding that it was "the reason Hamas will not, under any circumstances, sign an agreement to end Gaza smuggling."