Dichter raps Americans over Iran


Israel’s internal security minister came out harshly against a U.S. intelligence report playing down Iran’s nuclear program.

Avi Dichter on Saturday broke with the Olmert government’s official restraint in the face of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, saying the report issued this month reflected poor analysis on the part of the Americans as well as Israel’s failure to persuade its most important ally on the threat posed by Iran.

The NIE said Iran shelved its nuclear weapons program in 2003 but that its uranium enrichment projects could produce enough fissile material for a bomb in the next decade. Israel believes Iran is actively trying to build nuclear warheads and could succeed within two years.

“The misguided U.S. concept regarding the Iranian atomic bomb is liable to bring about a regional ‘Yom Kippur,’ ” Dichter said during an appearance at a Holon cultural center, referring to the 1973 Yom Kippur War when Israel suffered surprise attacks from Egypt and Syria.

“We didn’t succeed in convincing the United States about the degree to which the Iranian nuclear threat is real and immediate,” he said. “Israel and other nations have to help the United States by handing over intelligence materials that can fix this glitch in the American program that analyzed the threat.”

Ha’aretz reported that senior Israeli and U.S. intelligence officials are to meet to compare assessments on Iran.

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