Iran’s decision to produce fuel rods from a third of its medium-enriched uranium stockpile delayed its alleged nuclear weapon program, says the Israeli defense minister. But Tel Aviv continues to advocate a military solution to halting it.

­The Iranian move, which clearly clashes with its alleged goal of obtaining a nuclear bomb as soon as possible, is just a temporary set-back in Israel’s eyes and apparently does not change its aggressive rhetoric.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak estimates that Israel and its allies will have to take decision over a military solution of the stand-off in “eight to ten months”, because sanctions and diplomacy will fail to curb Iran’s nuclear ambition, Britain’s Daily Telegraph cites the minister as saying.

Tehran denies having any intention of weaponizing its nuclear program, but refuses to stop uranium enrichment, which it says is needed for civilian purposes. The US, the EU and their allies have slapped Iran with crippling economic sanctions to force it to shut down its centrifuges, but so far the Islamic Republic remains defiant.

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