His comment contrasted with a recent assessment by the authoritative, independent International Institute for Strategic Studies that Tehran is at least five years away from producing enough fissile material for a single bomb, and 15 years was a more likely timeframe.
"The question is not if they are going to hold that bomb in 2009 or 2010 or 2011, the question is when they will have the full knowledge. According to our people, security and intelligence, they are very, very close. It may be only six months before they will have that full knowledge."
Shalom warned that if the IAEA hesitated in reporting Iran to the Security Council, it would be very difficult to do so in future, and it might be too late as the Iranians were pushing ahead with their nuclear research.
"They have some technical problems recently," Shalom said, but he added that they were continuing with experiments to complete their research. He declined to give further details or discuss the source of his information.
"That's all the information that I can give," he told reporters. "That's our assessment, that the Iranians are very close and it might be only six months before they will have the full knowledge to develop this nuclear bomb."
So who are you going to believe. Israeli FM Shalom or International Institute for Strategic Studies?
Remember that the Iranians insist that their oil rich country needs nuclear technology to meet their country’s need for electricity but what is even more troubling is how far the hardline Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is prepared to go in sharing nuclear technology with his Islamic neighbors according to this YnetOnline report:
Iran is willing to provide other Islamic nations with nuclear technology, Iran's hard-line president said Thursday.President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the comments after meeting Turkey's prime minister on the sidelines of a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.
Ahmadinejad repeated promises that Iran will not pursue nuclear weapons, IRNA reported. Then he added: "Iran is ready to transfer nuclear know-how to the Islamic countries due to their need." Iran has said it is determined to pursue its nuclear program to process uranium and produce energy, despite European attempts to limit it. The United States accuses Tehran of secretly seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.
Meanwhile, diplomats and government officials in Europe said a U.S.-European drive to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council is encountering fierce opposition and could be postponed despite deep international concerns about Tehran's nuclear agenda.
It is said that Nero played while Rome burned.The UN will bicker and dither while the bombs go off. Same shit, different day.