Iran Nuke Claim Raises Fears of Israeli Strike

Tehran's alleged 3K enrichment centrifuges heightens tensions
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2007 1:48 PM CST
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, delivers his speech during an inaugurating ceremony of a petrochemical plant at Asalouyeh on the northern coast of the Persian Gulf, Iran, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007....   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced yesterday that Iran has 3,000 working centrifuges for uranium enrichment—enough, experts say, to make a nuclear bomb within a year. But what worries Washington more, the Times of London reports, is whether Israel will launch a preemptive airstrike. US military sources say Tehran's announcement might constitute a tipping point for Israel, the region's only nuclear power.

Last month's Israeli airstrike on an alleged nuclear site in Syria raised concerns Israel might execute a similar operation on Iranian facilities. In response to Ahmadinejad's new claim, Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak said, "Talks never did, and never will, stop rockets." Israel is widely acknowledged to possess nuclear weapons, although it does not officially confirm its nuclear status.