April 04, 2006
|Hans Blix: Iran At Least 5 Years From Bomb||Energy Iran|
Hans Blix, former UN chief weapons inspector and former head of the IAEA, says Iran is at least five years from developing a nuclear bomb. AP:
Former U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said Monday that Iran is a least five years away from developing a nuclear bomb, leaving time to peacefully negotiate a settlement.
Blix, attending an energy conference in western Norway, said he doubted the U.S. would resort to invading Iran.
"But there is a chance that the U.S. will use bombs or missiles against several sites in Iran," he was quoted...as saying. "Then, the reactions would be strong, and would contribute to increased terrorism."
Blix said there is still time for dialogue over Iran's nuclear enrichment program, which Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes but the West fears is part of a secret nuclear weapons program.
"We have time on our side in this case. Iran can't have a bomb ready in the next five years," Blix was quoted as saying.
Blix, also a former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, urged the United States to take its time, as it is doing in a similar nuclear standoff with North Korea.
"The U.S. has given itself time and is negotiating with North Korea, while Iran got a very short deadline," he was quoted as saying. [Emphasis added]
It cannot be stated often enough: Iran (unlike US friends India, Pakistan, and Israel, which actually have nuclear weapons) is a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and is acting in accordance with its provisions.
Meanwhile, the US is patient with North Korea (which claims to already have the bomb), but not with Iran, which is years away. But then Iran is sitting on 10% of the world's proven oil reserves, according to Wikipedia, and the world's second largest natural gas reserves. Energy policy, à la Bush.