Israeli Official: Iran Embellishing Nuclear Gains

Published February 16, 2012 7:00AM (EST)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister says Iran's latest claim of dramatic advancements in its nuclear program is exaggerated but that Tehran's nuclear pursuits remain a threat.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio on Thursday that the Iranians are "presenting a situation as better than what it really is."

Barak dismissed as a "show" the broadcast on Iranian state TV Wednesday of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad overseeing what was described as the first Iranian-made fuel rod inserted into a research reactor in Tehran.

Barak also says he doubts Iran's claim that a "new generation" of Iranian centrifuges, used to enrich uranium toward nuclear fuel, had gone into operation.

Iran claims it isn't seeking an atomic weapon but that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

By Salon Staff

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