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Later reports claim Iran only bought three such warheads.

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Djerejian to the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee, during which the Bush administration official was said to be "convinced that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons," despite the fact that Iran had "opened its facilities to international inspection." A January 18, 1992 report about nuclear proliferation in The Economist suggested that "Iran may have snapped up a couple of tactical nuclear warheads at bargain prices in the Central Asian arms bazaar." A report by the U. House Republican Research Committee, released in early 1992, stated with "98 per cent certainty that Iran already had all [or virtually all] of the components required for two to three operational nuclear weapons made with parts purchased in the ex-Soviet Muslim republics," and suggested Iran would acquire these weapons by April 1992.

In March 1992, The Arms Control Reporter reported that Iran already had four nuclear weapons, which it had obtained from Russia.

Fundamentalist extremism plus weapons of mass extinction are the recipe that is bound to lead to disaster." On June 14, 1992, the Daily Mail reported on Israeli claims that "nuclear experts from the former Soviet Union are helping Iran to build atomic bombs," quoting a "top Israel defence official" as saying, "If nothing is done to stop the Iranians they are certain to have atom bombs within a few years." The Washington Post reported on June 15, 1992, that Israeli Major General Herzl Budinger had said that unless "Iran's intensive effort to develop atomic weapons is not 'disrupted,'" it would "become a nuclear power by the end of the decade." On June 22, 1992, Ethan Bronner, reporting from Tel Aviv, wrote in The Boston Globe that Israeli "[i]ntelligence assessments here say that Iran will have nuclear weapons by the end of the decade." On August 5, 1992, international wire services reported on a newly-release study by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center "warned that unless Western nations halt the flow of such [duel-use nuclear] technology, Iran is likely to produce its first nuclear bomb within five or six years." Speaking on French television in October 1992, then-Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres warned the international community that Iran would be armed with a nuclear bomb by 1999. But three, four, five years from now it could be a serious problem." Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said in late 1993 that Iran would threaten Israel with "ground-to-ground missiles equipped with non-conventional warheads within 3 to 7 years." The following month he claimed that Iran "now has the appropriate manpower and resources to acquire nuclear weapons within the next ten years." On January 23, 1993, Gad Yaacobi, Israeli envoy to the UN, was quoted in the Boston Globe, claiming that Iran was devoting $800 million per year to the development of nuclear weapons.

Peres declared that Iran posed the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East "because it seeks the nuclear option while holding a highly dangerous stance of extreme religious militantism." The following month, on November 8, 1992, the New York Times reported that Israel was confident Iran would "become a nuclear power in a few years unless stopped." A "senior army officer" in Israel told the paper that "the Iranians may have a full nuclear capability by the end of the decade." The Times stated, "For Israel, a sense that the region's nuclear clock is ticking." After the November 1992 release of a new National Intelligence Estimate, which found that Iran "is making progress on a nuclear arms program and could develop a nuclear weapon by 2000," CIA head Robert Gates addressed the imminent threat in an interview with the Associated Press. On February 12, 1993, an Associated Press dispatch entitled "Newspaper Report: Iran Will Have Nuclear Bomb by 1999," summarized a report in Israeli daily Maariv, which quoted "experts who predicted Tehran would have an atomic bomb within six years." One of these "experts" was Likud Party chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, who had recently written in Yedioth Ahronoth claiming Iranian leaders had "repeatedly" vowed to acquire an "Islamic bomb" with which to destroy Israel.

Then it will be just a matter of technology and research. Perry told Israeli military officials in Jerusalem, "Iran may lay its hands on a nuclear weapon now," reported Sue Masterman in London's Evening Standard on January 9, 1995.

If Iran is not interrupted in this program by some foreign power, it will have the device in more or less five years." Following announcement of a deal struck between Iran and Russia to build a nuclear power plant, U. Masterman added, "Nuclear experts have always reckoned that it would take Iran up to 10 years to create a viable nuclear weapons programme," The next day, January 10, 1995, Clyde Haberman wrote in The New York Times that Perry admitted that, whereas the United States and Israel were "both very much concerned" about a potential threat posed by the Iranian nuclear program, "the Iranians were still 'many, many years' from developing an atomic bomb." Moreover, "Perry agreed with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that 7 to 15 years was 'a reasonable estimate' of how long it might take Iran at its present pace." On January 11, 1995, Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset that "within three to five years, we can assume that Iran will become autonomous in its ability to develop and produce a nuclear bomb." Netanyahu repeated this claim in his 1995 book "Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat the International Terrorist Network," writing, "The best estimates at this time place Iran between three and five years away from possessing the prerequisites required for the independent production of nuclear weapons." At the same time, a senior Israeli official declared, "If Iran is not interrupted in this program by some foreign power, it will have the device in more or less five years." After a meeting in Jerusalem between Defense Secretary Perry and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, they announced that Iran would have a nuclear bomb in seven to 15 years.

Barring significant technical input from abroad, however, the Iranians are not likely to achieve that goal before the year 2000." According to The Washington Post's R.

Jeffrey Smith in an article published March 28, 1992, Gates told the panel that Iran was also engaged in "the development of poison gas warheads to place atop Scud missiles" and that "the country's 'relatively crude' chemical weapons program is expected to produce such warheads within a few years.

On May 6, 1995, President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 12959, effectively placing a complete embargo on trade with Iran.

The order, lobbied for and written by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), was supposedly implemented "to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States." In a letter to Congress announcing the order, Clinton claimed that Iran had "intensified efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction." Addressing the AIPAC Policy Conference the next day, May 7, 1995, Clinton insisted that "Iran is bent on building nuclear weapons" and warned, "The specter of an Iran armed with weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them haunts not only Israel but the entire Middle East and, ultimately, all the rest of us as well.

The United States, and I believe all the Western nations, have an overriding interest in containing the threat posed by Iran." The following day, May 8, 1995, The Washington Times published an article with the headline, "Tehran's A-bomb program shows startling progress." Its author, Ken Timmerman stated, "Secretary of State Warren Christopher and other top U. officials have been warning in recent months of a 'crash program' by Iran to go nuclear, but they have not put a timetable on the Iranian effort," adding, "The new evidence, which has been pieced together from interviews over the past six months with intelligence officials and senior diplomats in Washington, Paris and Bonn, suggests that Iran could be as little as three to five years away from a nuclear-weapons capability, and not eight to 10 years as previously thought." The same day, the White House press office released a statement claiming that Iran was attempting to "obtain materials and assistance critical to the development of nuclear weapons." On May 9, 1995, Robin Wright wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "Administration officials said that Iran has been secretly buying equipment that is not necessary for peaceful uses of nuclear technology.

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