Iran could have nuclear weapon by 2012: UK govt

Iran may be capable of developing a nuclear weapon by next year, Britain`s defence secretary told lawmakers on Tuesday.

London: Iran may be capable of developing
a nuclear weapon by next year, Britain`s defence secretary
told lawmakers on Tuesday.
Liam Fox told the House of Commons he disagreed with
Israel`s newly retired spy chief, Meir Dagan, who said this
month that Iran would not be able to build a nuclear bomb
before 2015.

Fox said the West should be wary of optimism over
Iran`s nuclear program and make decisions on the basis of the
most pessimistic assessment of its capability.

His remarks follow the failure of the US, Britain,
France and Germany, Russia and China in talks earlier this
month to persuade Iran to open its atomic program to more
scrutiny.
Tehran claims its nuclear program is limited to
developing civilian power. The U.S. and allies insist Iran is
working on the covert development of nuclear weapons.

"We know from previous experience, not least from what
happened in North Korea, that the international community can
be caught out, assuming that things are more rosy than they
are," Fox told lawmakers. "We should therefore be entirely
clear. It is entirely possible that Iran may be on the 2012
end of that spectrum."

Fox said that the West should act "in accordance with
that warning."

PTI