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Dagan: Egypt, Syria have nuclear programs, as well as Iran

By Gideon Alon, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service
Jan 24 2005

The head of the Mossad intelligence service, Meir Dagan, warned Monday that there are signs that several Middle East states other than Iran - including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria - are at varying stages of development of nuclear programs.

Dagan, reviewing the security situation for the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, also warned that the atomic threat posed by Iran will soon reach the point of no return in a nuclear arms race.

The Mossad chief told committee members that Iran is attempting to lead the International Atomic Energy Agency astray.

According to Dagan, Russia is still helping Iran build its nuclear reactor in Bushehr.

In addition, Dagan said Iran is encouraging Hezbollah to carry out terror attacks in Israeli territory, and giving assistance to Palestinian terror organizations.

Peres: Iran is the central problem of the Mideast
Vice Premier Shimon Peres, responding to reports that Tehran sought to foment terrorist attacks in order to foil a Israeli-Palestinian truce, said Monday that Iran constitutes the principal problem of the Middle East, and the center for terrorism in the region.

"Iran is the problem of the Middle East," Peres said.

"It is a group of people who have freed themselves from speaking the truth, who think that the means justify the ends, and who hide everything they do," he told Army Radio.

"It is the center of terrorism in the Middle East. It is trying to create a nuclear option with a religious coloration."

But Peres cautioned against Israel taking on the burden of confrontating Tehran.

"The Iran issue is a global one. Let the world conduct the war. How much do we need to take upon ourselves."

In any event, Peres continued, diplomatic solutions must be explored by Washington and others before any decision for military action should be taken.

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