Israel Prime Minister Downplays Nuclear Iran Within Next Few Years

Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said there was scant likelihood Iran would become a nuclear power within the next few years and that the earliest it could possibly occur would be by 2009 “only if nothing gets in their way and under the optimal conditions from Iran’s standpoint.” Olmert disagreed with those arguing Russia would support Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons. “I think Russia doesn’t have an interest in a nuclear Iran. they have supported steps against the nuclearization of Iran.”

Russia has a large Muslim population and allowing Iran to become a nuclear power would add a new risk to its southern frontiers which contain large portions of that group. Russia only benefits if Iran is kept away from nuclear weapons.