Israeli Defense Minister Claims Iran Will Have Nuclear Weapons by 2005
Iran will be in possession of nuclear weapons by 2005, claimed Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer during his visit to Turkey on Monday.
The Iranians are also preparing the ground-to-ground Shihab-3 missile, he said, cited by the Jerusalem Post.
According to the paper, officials at Israel’s defense ministry believe the Shihab-3 is capable of reaching any point within Israel.
The officials added that the Iranians were already in possession of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.
US officials have been arguing in favor of developing a missile defense system, saying one of the reasons for such a system would be to protect against incoming missiles from states such as North Korea or Iran.
Ben-Eliezer, meanwhile, said that he discussed the possibility of selling to Turkey Israel's Arrow missile, which is designed to shoot down ballistic missiles.
He said he discussed defense cooperation and the possibility of jointly producing anti-tank missiles with Turkey.
Israel and Turkey have held joint naval exercises and Israel is currently helping to refurbish Turkish air force F-4 warplanes.
Last month, Israeli pilots trained over Turkish skies, in another sign that their US-backed relationship is deepening.
American plans for a missile defense system were also raised during Ben-Eliezer's visit, said the paper.
Turkey and Israel have both signaled initial support for the plan – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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