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World: Israeli minister sees possible attack on Iran "in two or three years"

Iran says Jordan summit 'good opportunity' for nuclear talks

  Iran says Jordan summit 'good opportunity' for nuclear talks Iran's foreign minister said Monday that a summit to take place this week in Jordan will be a "good opportunity" for negotiations aimed at restoring the 2015 nuclear accord. "Jordan is a good opportunity for us to complete these discussions," Iran's top diplomat Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told reporters in Tehran. His comments come a day before Jordan hosts the "Baghdad II" conference on Tuesday, bringing together key Middle East and international players -- including rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia -- in a bid to defuse regional tensions.Amir-Abdollahian and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell are both expected to attend.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel could attack Iranian nuclear sites in two or three years, its defence minister said on Wednesday, in unusually explicit comments about a possible timeline.

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz speaks to the media after casting his ballot on the day of Israel's general election outside a polling station in Rosh Ha'ayin © Thomson Reuters FILE PHOTO: Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz speaks to the media after casting his ballot on the day of Israel's general election outside a polling station in Rosh Ha'ayin

With international efforts to renew a 2015 nuclear deal having stalled, the Iranians have ramped up uranium enrichment, a process with civilian uses that can also eventually yield fuel for nuclear bombs - though they deny having any such design.

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Experts say Iran could potentially raise the fissile purity of its uranium to weapons-grade in short order. But building a deliverable warhead would take it years, they say - an estimate echoed by an Israeli military intelligence general this month.

"In two or three years, you may be traversing the skies eastward and taking part in an attack on nuclear sites in Iran," Defence Minister Benny Gantz told graduating air force cadets in a speech.

For more than a decade, Israel has issued veiled threats to attack its arch-enemy's nuclear facilities if it deems world powers' diplomacy with Tehran a dead end. However, some experts doubt Israel has the military clout to deliver lasting damage to Iranian targets that are distant, dispersed and well-defended.

War in Ukraine. Iran wants to "extend" its deliveries of arms to Russia according to Mossad

 War in Ukraine. Iran wants to © Reuters archives Iran's supreme chief, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in November 2022. according to Mossad, Intelligence Service Israeli, Iran would like to "deepen and extend" its peak arms deliveries to Russia. In Ukraine, Moscow notably uses an increasing number of Iranian manufacturing drones. Iran is looking to "deepen and extend" its peak arms deliveries to Russia, currently at war in Ukraine, supported the head of Mossad on Thursday evening, the Israeli external intelligence service.

The Israeli military intelligence forecast for 2023 is that Iran "will continue on its current path of slow progress" in the nuclear realm, according to Israel Hayom newspaper on Sunday.

"Iran will only change its policies if extreme sanctions are imposed on it; then it could decide to accelerate enrichment to military grade," said the report, which a military spokesperson confirmed as citing genuine intelligence assessments.

Under an ambiguity policy designed to deter surrounding foes while avoiding provocations that can spur arms races, Israel neither confirms nor denies having nuclear weaponry. Scholars believe it does, having acquired the first bomb in late 1966.

Unlike Iran, Israel is not a signatory to the voluntary Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970, which offers access to civilian nuclear technologies in exchange for the forswearing of nuclear weaponry.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Alison Williams)

Israel's Netanyahu looks to vote in new government on Thursday .
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu called a vote in parliament on his new government for Thursday Dec. 29, the speaker of the Knesset said on Monday, after almost two months of coalition wrangling. Netanyahu's bloc of right-wing and religious parties won a clear victory in parliamentary elections last month, but the veteran leader has had a harder time than expected in finalizing deals with his partners. Despite campaigning together, Netanyahu has struggled to meet the demands of his allies, who have demanded a significant slice of power in exchange for their support.

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