Israeli Military Chief Says Iran Undecided on Nuclear Weapons

Posted April 25th, 2012 at 12:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Israel's military chief says he does not believe Iran has made a final decision on whether it will develop nuclear weapons.

In an interview with Israel's Haaretz newspaper, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz said Wednesday that Tehran is moving “step-by-step” towards deciding if it wants a nuclear weapon. He said Iran has not made a final assessment.

His comments appear to be at odds with recent statements from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Earlier this month, Mr. Netanyahu said the ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and the international community were only giving Tehran more time to continue its enrichment of uranium – steps that could enable Iran to develop a weapon.

Despite Western fears, Iran says its nuclear development effort is for peaceful use.

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, known as the P5 + 1, met in Turkey this month for the first direct talks on Iran's nuclear ambitions in over a year. The two sides agreed to another round of talks in Baghdad in May.

Both Israel and the United States say they will not rule out military action against Iran if economic sanctions fail to curb its nuclear ambitions.