Israel, Iran liable to clash in 2009 over nukes, U.S. intel chief said


Amir Oren, Haaretz
February 13, 2009

Israel and Iran are liable to enter into a confrontation or a crisis sometime this year due to Tehran’s progress in its nuclear weapons program and Jerusalem’s determination to thwart it, the head of U.S. intelligence told lawmakers on Thursday.

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In a report to the Senate Intelligence Committee on the potential threats as foreseen by the 16 intelligence arms of the United States, Dennis Blair said that Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based Shi’ite group which is backed by Iran, has beefed up its weapons arsenal in preparation for another round of fighting with Israel.

Blair said Hezbollah presents a formidable threat to U.S. interests, particularly if the organization feels Washington directly threatens Iran or acts against the group’s targets, infrastructure, and leadership.

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