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Israeli defense chief: Iran can build bomb by 2011

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel Radio reports that Defense Minister Ehud Barak says Iran will have the technology to build a nuclear bomb early next year and will be able to produce one in 2011.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak delivered this assessment before the Israeli parliament's defense and foreign affairs committee.

The Defense Ministry said it could not confirm the report, and a Barak spokesman wasn't immediately available for comment.

Israel rejects Tehran's claims that its nuclear program is designed to produce energy, not bombs. It has lobbied for tough sanctions against Iran and has not ruled out a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Iran is under pressure from its domestic opposition and the West to suspend key parts of its nuclear program.


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