Israel's interior minister said on Tuesday he would ban Vanunu from leaving the country for a further 12 months due to concerns he could harm national security.

Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz told Army Radio he would prevent Vanunu from obtaining an Israeli passport, necessary to leave the country, for another year, saying Vanunu had more nuclear secrets to spill.

"He collected enormous amounts of information, a large part of which is still relevant, I am sorry to say ... [and] he says the moment that I can, I will publish it," Pines-Paz said.
   
"When a man says that he will harm national security, where does that leave us? [This is] a preventive step and we have no choice but to use it," he added.

Vanunu, a former technician at Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor, was released in April 2004 after serving 18 years for divulging information about Israel's secretive atomic programme to a British newspaper.