Two years means we need to take immediate action." Citing a "recent estimate of Iran's nuclear timetable" by an analyst at the AIPAC-affiliated Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), Timmerman quotes Michael Eisenstadt: "The recent discovery in Europe of plutonium and enriched uranium smuggled out of the former Soviet Union raises the possibility that the diversion of fissile material may in fact have already occurred." Furthermore, Eisenstadt said that, depending on the unknown extent of Iranian expertise, it could take Iran "several months or several years to manufacture a weapon." On February 15, 1996, then-Israeli Foreign Minister Ehud Barak told members of the UN Security Council that Iran would be producing nuclear weapons by 2004.
On April 29, 1996, Israel's then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres claimed in an interview with ABC that "the Iranians are trying to perfect a nuclear option" and would "reach nuclear weapons" in four years.
By 1999, Netanyahu wrote, Iran would have such a weapon.Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Oded Ben-Ami told AP, "We know the Iranian nuclear capability poses a big threat and a great danger," while Daniel Leshem, an arms expert who used to work for Israeli military intelligence, claimed, "The Iranians are investing billions in developing an infrastructure for creating material for nuclear weapons" and that "by 1999 they will have a bomb." On February 24, 1993, CIA director James Woolsey said that although Iran was "still eight to ten years away from being able to produce its own nuclear weapon" the United States was concerned that, with foreign assistance, it could become a nuclear power earlier. News and World Report, the New York Times, the conservative French weekly Paris Match, and Foreign Report all claimed Iran had struck a deal with North Korea to develop nuclear weapons capability, while U. intelligence analysts alleged an Iranian nuclear alliance with Ukraine.they have assembled a substantial body of evidence suggesting that, although Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it is secretly pursuing a broad, organized effort to develop nuclear weapons." An article published in the July/August 1995 edition of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs noted that, "whenever American companies seemed to be doing deals with the Islamic Republic, Israeli 'intelligence sources' leaked to friendly journalists various estimates as to how long it would take the Iranians to build a bomb.The bigger the deal, the shorter the estimate." The same year, Major-General Yaakov Amidror, head of the Research and Assessment Division of Israeli Military Intelligence, says "we found the first signs that the Iranians were going nuclear" and attempted to convince their American counterparts "that this was a danger soon to be faced by the entire Free World." A February 1996 article in The American Spectator entitled, "Does Iran Have the Bomb?The United States, and I believe all the Western nations, have an overriding interest in containing the threat posed by Iran." The following day, May 8, 1995, The Washington Times published an article with the headline, "Tehran's A-bomb program shows startling progress." Its author, Ken Timmerman stated, "Secretary of State Warren Christopher and other top U. officials have been warning in recent months of a 'crash program' by Iran to go nuclear, but they have not put a timetable on the Iranian effort," adding, "The new evidence, which has been pieced together from interviews over the past six months with intelligence officials and senior diplomats in Washington, Paris and Bonn, suggests that Iran could be as little as three to five years away from a nuclear-weapons capability, and not eight to 10 years as previously thought." The same day, the White House press office released a statement claiming that Iran was attempting to "obtain materials and assistance critical to the development of nuclear weapons." On May 9, 1995, Robin Wright wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "Administration officials said that Iran has been secretly buying equipment that is not necessary for peaceful uses of nuclear technology.
The nature of the goods, including large magnets and pumps that can be used in enriching uranium, indicates that Iran is in the early stages of a nuclear weapons program, the officials asserted." Writing in The Washington Post on May 17, 1995, Jim Hoagland reported on a meeting between President Bill Clinton and Russian leader Boris Yeltsin, during which Clinton presented an intelligence report claiming that "Iran is aggressively pursuing a nuclear-weapons acquisition blueprint drawn up at least four years ago with the aid of Pakistani officials." The so-called Iranian "drive for the bomb" had been determined based on "human intelligence and communications intercepts." Hoagland further noted that "Clinton could not offer Yeltsin satellite photography or other physical evidence, since Iran has not yet begun construction of an identifiable nuclear weapons site." A few days later, on May 21, 1995, The Independent reported that "Israel is considering attacking Iranian nuclear facilities to prevent Iran acquiring a bomb, according to Israeli press reports. officials had long determined that "Iran could develop nuclear weapons within ten to fifteen years," adding, "Recent estimates, however, indicate that Iran could have a nuclear weapon in about five years." He quoted an anonymous "senior U. official" who said in early January 1995: The date by which Iran will have nuclear weapons is no longer 10 years from now.
The next year, in 1988, Iraq issued warnings that Tehran was at the nuclear threshold.
Citing a recent Jane's Defense Weekly assessment, the trade journal Nuclear Developments reports on May 15, 1990, that Chile, Iran, South Korea, and Libya are already capable of producing nuclear weapons.
That same year, international press went wild with speculation over Iranian nuclear weapons. Months later, the AFP reported Switzerland was supplying Iran with nuclear weapons technology, while the Intelligence Newsletter claimed that the French firm CKD was delivering nuclear materials to Iran and U. News and World Report accused Soviet scientists working in Kazakhstan of selling weapons-grade uranium to Iran.
In a prepared statement to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on November 10, 1993, State Department Undersecretary for International Security Affairs Lynn Davis declared that "Iran's actions leave little doubt that Tehran is intent upon developing nuclear weapons capability" and that Iran's acquisition of so-called "dual-use technologies" are "inconsistent with any rational civil nuclear energy program." The next month, reported the Christian Science Monitor, "a draft Central Intelligence Agency report concluded that Iran was making progress on a nuclear arms program and could develop a nuclear weapon by the year 2000." Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said in late 1993 that Iran would threaten Israel with "ground-to-ground missiles equipped with non-conventional warheads within 3 to 7 years." The following month he claimed that Iran "now has the appropriate manpower and resources to acquire nuclear weapons within the next ten years." By the end of 1993, Theresa Hitchens and Brendan Mc Nally of Defense News and National Defense University analyst W. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, testified before Congress that "Iran could have the bomb by 2003," while Defense Secretary William J.
The aim would be to repeat Israel's success in 1981 in bombing Iraq's Osirak reactor." In a June 1, 1995 paper on American policy toward Iran over its nuclear program, non-proliferation analyst Mark D. If the Iranians maintain this intensive effort to get everything they need, they could have all their components in two years.