London, Feb 01 (Agencies): Denying statement of Israel’s retired spy chief Meir Dagan, who had said that Iran would not be able to build a nuclear bomb before 2015, Britain’s Defense Secretary Liam Fox stated Iran may be capable of developing a nuclear weapon by next year.

Liam Fox said in the House of Commons that the West should be wary of confidence over Iran's nuclear programme and make decisions on the basis of the most pessimistic assessment of its capability.

His remarks follow the failure of the US, Britain, France and Germany, Russia and China in talks earlier this month to persuade Iran to open its atomic programme to more inspection.

Tehran claims its nuclear programme is limited to developing civilian power. The US and allies insist Iran is working on the covert development of nuclear weapons.

"We know from previous experience, not least from what happened in North Korea, that the international community can be caught out, assuming that things are more rosy than they are," Liam Fox told lawmakers.

"We should therefore be entirely clear. It is entirely possible that Iran may be on the 2012 end of that spectrum."

Fox asked the West to act "in accordance with that warning."