Israel's minister of strategic affairs says that technical difficulties have pushed back the Iranian timetable for producing a nuclear weapon.
Moshe Yaalon told Israel Radio on Wednesday that Iran is at least three years away from developing a nuclear bomb.
Israeli military officials have said Tehran has the expertise to build a bomb, but needs time to gather the necessary materials. Yaalon's assessment matched the outer range of past Israeli estimates of Iran's suspected weapons program.
Yaalon, whose ministry is responsible for monitoring Iran, did not say how he reached his assessment. But in recent months Iranian nuclear scientists have been abducted and killed and a destructive computer worm has struck Iran's uranium enrichment activity.
Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful.