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Iran will have nuclear weapon in three years: Mossad

Number of countries fighting nuclear terrorism increased fivefold
The number of countries participating in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) has grown fivefold in the past two years, according to a US official for non-proliferation. "At that first meeting here in Rabat, we were a small but strong partnership of 13 nations. Today, our partnership has 65 nations from all over the world, 22 of which are in attendance today," said Patricia McNerney, deputy assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, at a GICNT seminar in Rabat. Launched in June 2006 by US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the GICNT programme aims to reinforce control of nuclear facilities and materials in order to prevent terrorist groups from accessing them. "The growing use of radioactive sources for peaceful ends in a large number of states (...) is considerably increasing the risk of their accessibility and their use by terrorist groups," said Omar Hilale, representing Morocco's Ministry for Foreign Affairs. McNerney congratulated what she said was a large group of attendees prepared to discuss "issues in the context of the threats and challenges in the Maghreb region and beyond". Addressing these challenges, she said, involves "preparing for and responding to a nuclear or radiological incident". Hilale called on the observer states in attendence Tuesday to participate in an "unprecedented partnership against terrorism that is as blind as it is highly destructive". The meetings conclude Wednesday in Rabat.
by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) Feb 5, 2008
Israel's Mossad spy agency estimates Iran will develop a nuclear weapon within three years and continue to provide rockets to regional armed groups, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Mossad director Meir Dagan, in an intelligence assessment presented to Israel's powerful foreign affairs and defence committee on Monday, said the Jewish state would face increased threats on all fronts, Maariv daily said.

Dagan's estimate of Iran's nuclear ambitions differs sharply from an assessment by the US intelligence community late last year that said Iran had mothballed its nuclear weapons programme in 2003.

That report compiled by 16 US intelligence agencies said the Islamic republic would not be able to attain a nuclear weapon until 2015.

Israel has questioned those findings, claiming that although Iran may have temporarily halted its nuclear drive five years ago it has since relaunched it while pressing ahead with a public uranium enrichment programme.

Tehran has always insisted its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.

In Monday's report, Dagan also predicted that Tehran would continue to supply more and better rockets and training to Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip.

Dagan added that Iran's allies Syria and the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah were also working to develop an increased rocket ability.

"Syria is improving its surface-to-surface missile system and today the quantity of missiles and rockets is twice as large as two years ago," Dagan said, according to Maariv.

Israel has long perceived Iran as its greatest threat, especially after Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad relaunched its nuclear enrichment programme and repeatedly predicted the demise of the Jewish state.

earlier related report
Iran angered over India's launch of Israeli spy satellite
Iran said Tuesday it had lodged an official complaint with New Delhi over India's commercial launch of an Israeli spy satellite last month.

The satellite, blasted into orbit from southern India on January 21, is reported by the Israeli press to have the ability to see through clouds, carry out day and night all-weather imaging and will be used to spy on Iran's suspect nuclear programme.

"The Indian government says the issue is a technical and commercial one, but we hope that the matter can be considered from the point of view of protocol," Iran's ambassador to New Delhi, Sayed Mahdi Nabizadeh, told reporters.

"We hope that an independent and wise country like India will not give their space technology to launch any instruments of espionage. Our officials have expressed our point of view," he added.

The launch was carried out under a commercial contract between Israel Aerospace Industries and Antrix, the marketing arm of India's space agency, and is seen by India as another boost for its bid to win more international satellite launch business.

Israel, along with many Western nations, says Iran is using an atomic energy drive as a cover for developing a bomb -- an allegation denied by Tehran.

Last month Israel said all options were on the table to prevent Iran -- which openly calls for the destruction of the Jewish state -- from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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Russia says US approach to nuclear talks 'disappointing': Interfax
Moscow (AFP) Feb 3, 2008
Russia is disappointed by Washington's approach to talks on renewing the START I arms treaty, which expires next year, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak said in an interview published on Sunday.

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