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Iran is coming so close to the development of a nuclear weapon that Israel has a year left to preempt an attack, the latter's former intelligence chief said Sunday. Shabtai Shavit told Britain's Sunday Telegraph, "What's left is a military action" if diplomacy and sanctions against Iran don't work. Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki said he believes Israel is in no position to attack the widely dispersed nuclear facilities, and Iran's Revolutionary Guard commander said an Israeli or US attack will cause the Islamic republic to "impose control" over oil shipping in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.

Hundreds of South Koreans were hurt Sunday at another protest in Seoul over the resumption of beef imports from the US. Ignoring assurances by visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over the health of American cattle, the protesters fought police with steel pipes and rocks. The latter retaliated with water cannon. The use of tear gas has been banned in South Korea since 1999, but the Justice Ministry said police may have no choice but to resort to it if such clashes continue.

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