Tehran nuclear program 95 per-cent ready to make a bomb, apposition says

An Iranian opposition group in exile said Thursday Iran is "95 percent ready" to make a nuclear bomb and said Europe's soft line on Tehran's uranium enrichment program has only pushed it closer to joining the nuclear powers' club.

The European Union's "policy of appeasing the Iranian regime has to be abandoned," Ali Safawi, a member of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, told a news conference.

He said negotiations that Britain, France and Germany have had with Tehran on behalf of the 25-nation EU with the aim of keeping it from developing nuclear arms technology "have been fruitless."

"If anything ... it is the regime (in Tehran) that has benefited from these talks" because it has greatly diversified its nuclear program, said Safawi.

He said that by 2007, Iran could have a nuclear bomb, adding, "The (Iranian) regime is 95 percent ready" to make a nuclear bomb.

The NCRI has long been critical of European efforts to nudge Tehran off the road to nuclear weapons by holding out the prospect of large-scale economic assistance, reports the AP.

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