JERUSALEM, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Former head of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Michael Hayden assessed that Iran would not be able to make a nuclear bomb until 2013 or 2014, Israeli media reported Tuesday.
Hayden told the Ha'aretz daily that "while it is probably true that the so-called 'window' regarding effective action is closing, " he does not "underestimate" the Israel Air Force's abilities.
However, the former CIA chief added that "geometry and physics tell us that Iran's nuclear program would pose a difficult challenge to any military, as it is not a raid, and Israel's resources are more limited than those of the U.S."
"There is no absolute certainty that all targets are known," he said, "They will have to be revisited -- which only the U.S. Air Force would be able to do -- and the operation will only set the Iranians back some time and actually push them to do that which it is supposed to prevent, getting nuclear weapons."
while Hayden is in Tel Aviv on Tuesday to take part in a high- level academic seminar on cyber warfare, Israel's own intelligence chiefs will present their annual briefing to the government.
The officials are expected to mainly focus on Iran's nuclear plan, the civil war in Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood's rise to power in Egypt. The ministers will be presented with intelligence assessments regarding whether or not Teheran has decided to begin enriching uranium to 90 percent -- sufficient for a nuclear weapon.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for setting "clear red lines" for Iran to curb its nuclear plan.
"The international community is not putting down a clear red line for Iran," Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting, adding that "Iran is not seeing the international community's determination to stop its nuclear program, and it won't stop until it will."
Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are leading the voices contending that Israel has the right to defend itself and attack Iran, charging that its nuclear plan poses an existential threat to the Jewish state.
On Monday, the White House dismissed a report appearing in the Israel Yediot Aharonot daily alleging that the United States had secretly told Iran that it would not enter fighting on Israel's behalf if Teheran agreed not to bomb American facilities in the Gulf region.
"It's incorrect, completely incorrect," White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters in quashing the newspaper report.
"The goal is to make Iran understand that the world is serious about the military option," a source in Jerusalem told the Yediot Aharonot news site.