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July 3, 2009

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 3, 2009 Israel says Iran bomb possible in two months By Andy Levy.Ajzenkopf Canadian Jewish News Iran's nuclear weapons program may be closer to completion than anyone realizes. Leading a diplomatic delegation through Toronto recently for official meet- ings, Jonathan Miller, bu- reau head and senior deputy director general for Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told The CJN that the world now faces "an extremely decisive moment," because within the year, Iran will likely be producing nuclear weapons-grade uranium. Miller said that accord- ing to intelligence reports, speculation is that Iran could have enough fissile material for one nuclear bomb in as little as two months time. A recent International Atomic Energy Agency re- port stated there are more than 7,000 centrifuges in Natanz, Iran. Out of those, around 5,000 are opera- tional, which represents a leap in Iran's capability to activate its centrifuges and enrich uranium at an increased rate, Miller said. Those centrifuges have theoretically now produced 1,339 kilograms of low- enriched uranium, just under the amount--any- where from 1,500 to 1,700 kilograms--that experts say is needed to create enough "military-level enriched" uranium for a nuclear bomb, according to Miller's calcu- lations. "In the next few months, [Iran] will have enough fis- sile material for a 'breakout scenario'" wherein it could, if it chose to, declare itself capable of producing a nuclear weapon. "This is avery significant landmark," he said. News reports two weeks ago cited the head of the Mossad, Meir Dagan, as specu- lating that Iran could "have a bomb to launch by 2014" if its program doesn't experience "any glitches," seemingly contradicting Miller's claims. Miller said Israel is "see- ing a change in the [power] balances between region- al parties [in the Middle East]. The dividing lines are changing. And Iran plays a dominant role." Despite the ongoing grassroots protests in Teh- ran calling for a recount of the June 12 vote, which saw Iranian President Mah- moud Ahmadinejad re- elected, Miller said that short of full-fledged regime change--Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini Appearing June 21 on NBC's Meet the Press, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that while Israel and much of the world support the protesters and want a change in govern- ment in Iran, it's most important to prevent the sitting government from de- veloping nuclear weapons. Miller said Iran will con- tinue its attempts to "gain legitimacy by exporting its radical ideas...of revolution- ary terrorism. The president is a figurehead." PAGE 15A tions and pressure through political gamesmanship, the closer it will get to real- izing its goal as a nuclear power. To try and prevent this scenario using peaceful methods, he said, Israel has embraced the new "engage- ment" approach put forth by U.S. President Barack Obama, calling for"regional reconciliation in the Middle East, something our govern- ment has adopted fully." Beyond this, Miller asked western nations to under- "He cautioned those in the West who assume Iran is only the Middle East's problem to think again." When asked about this, Miller said Dagan's state- ments were based on Israeli intelligence analyses that indicate "Iran has not gone to all this trouble and confron- tation with the international community in order to break out and create an extreme crisis,..for the sake of one single bomb. The assessment is that they will expand and broaden their technological and nuclear industrial base and then have the capacity to produce five or more bombs simultaneously. For this they will need a few more years, around 2014." Until then, he said, Iran will seek to consolidate its power bases around the world and grow ever bolder in its quest to become a glob- al Islamic "superpower." and his Guardian Council of Islamic jurists wield the real power in Iran and govern based on their messianic interpretation of the Quran--any swap in leadership would be in- consequential, Miller said. Over the weekend, Kha- meini threatened to quell the protests by employing the Basij--a militia loyal to the Guardian Council--to attack those calling for the democratization of Iran. Nineteen protesters were killed June 20, and ABC reported that 13 were killed June 21. More than 50 pro- testers have been killed, although some reports estimate the number to be well over 100. Police in Iran say they have rounded up 170 reformist leaders. Contemporary Jewish Museum He cautioned those in the West who assume Iran is only the Middle East's problem to think again. Beyond controlling its Hamas and Hezbollah prox- ies, "Iran today, if you look at Iraq, Afghanistan, Ven- ezuela, Columbia, Africa, Indonesia.,.plays a role. [And] the Gulf states are very concerned about Iranian domination," he said. He added that for years, Iran's confidence in its growing power has in- creased, and if nuclear capability is added to that mix, "you will get an Iran that will feel absolutely unstoppable." "Iran is a master of delay tactics," Miller said, adding that the longer the world allows it to hold off sanc- stand that while Israel might be the Iran's "first target," its ballistic missile program has progressed to the point where it can also reach into western Europe, Russia and China, among others. He warned that the in- ternational community must start cracking down now on Iranian proxy com- panies and organizations that funnel money back to the Islamic Republic, circumventing existing in- ternational sanctions. "Dealingwith Iran should be the top issue in the world," Miller said. "If Iran goes nuclear, the non- proliferation treaty would collapse." Miller also praised Can- ada's efforts on Iran and terrorism in general, saying Israel "highly appreciates" Ottawa's stance on the Middle East, and hopes that it would use its influence in the upcoming G8 July summit in L'Aquila, Italy, to convince other states of the necessity to band together on Iran. "Canada can make sure that the Iranian issue is given prominence." He said the world will need to make a "serious assessment" on Iran by the time of this year's U.N. Gen- eral Assembly meeting in New York in late September. Israel's message to the world is that it needs to "wake up" to the Iranian threat, Miller said, and that it must accept there will be a short-term economic price to pay--likely in the price of oil--to isolate Iran politically and economi- cally, and tamp down its belligerence. "Iran does not want to be a pariah state. For its ideology to succeed, it needs to be a part of the international community," Miller said, suggesting that measures such as bans on travel for its diplomats and professionals, as well as oil embargoes, among other nonmilitary tactics, can "drive the message home to Iran." "The price [the interna- tional community] will pay today, will be much less than it will need to pay in the future when dealing with a nuclear Iran." JTA contributed to this report. marks first anniversary j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California One year after the ribbon- cutting ceremony at the Con- temporary Jewish Museum, Connie Wolf still feels like pinching herself. The museum's director and CEO says reaching the first anniversary of the museum's opening on San Francisco's Mission Street in June 2008 is "amazing and wonderful. A sense of routine has emerged, but there's always a sense of discovery." Wolf is happy to rattle off some stats: 780 public tours, 191 private tours, 11 exhibits, 75 private gatherings (corpo- rate, bar mitzvahs, etc.), more than 6,000 museum members and 137,000 visi- tors through the turnstiles. She says those numbers exceed initial projections. The museum's striking facility, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, opened af- ter nearly a decade of plan- ning and construction. As important as the art it- self, Wolf says the museum's mission to foster dialogue and community appears to be catching fire. "In this time of difficult moments in people's lives, the reality is people still want to be together, and have meaning whether to experience a talk, or see an exhibit or come as a family." CJM board chair Roselyne "Cissy" Swig, a longtime champion of the museum, CJM/Bruce Damonte Installation from The Contemporary Jewish Museum's inau- gural exhibit "In the Beginning: Artists Respond to Genesis." says that for her, the first year's high point has been the museum's enthusiastic reception. "That occurs first of all because [people] love the building and how it fits in the arts neighborhood," Swig says. "On behalf of the Jew- ish community, there's an increasing pride in the fact that we supported a building and an institution that will enrich all of San Francisco." Jews make up about half of all CJM visitors, according to surveys. Despite the shaky econo- my, Wolf is upbeat about the museum's financial health. She says the institution will balance its budget this year, benefiting from careful forecasting leading up to the opening. "Since we opened, we had to be very strategic in terms of staffing and overhead; We've been very cautious, and we feel really good about what we've got/' The museum employs 35 staffers. In addition to regular exhibitions, Wolf touts the CJM's expanded program- ming, such as the recently launched Oy Vey Thursdays. On the first Thursday of every month this summer there is an opportunity to unwind at the museum over cocktails and music. The visit is free, the bar is a cash bar and it costs $5 to see the exhibits. "It's important that people have food, shelter and employ- ment," Wolf says, "They also need to feel good about who they are as members of soci- ety. Artists help you do that." Reprinted by permission of the j. the Jewish news weekly of northern cali- fornia. WI m|glat]lllllllLlllllllElllllFgllIlIHIlllllntlfll]l fBlll] I]ITIT  Fl i 1El mT : l!lllllll