Azara Blog: Americans claim Iran is not developing nuclear weapons after all

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Date published: 2007/12/03

The BBC says:

Iran appears "less determined" to develop nuclear weapons than previously thought, US intelligence officials say.

Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 but is continuing to enrich uranium, a National Intelligence Estimate assessment has concluded.

Enriched uranium is used in nuclear bombs but Tehran says the aims of its nuclear activities are peaceful.

A senior advisor to President Bush said the report was "positive" but the risk of a nuclear Iran remained "serious".

Iran is currently under sanctions from both the UN Security Council, which is demanding the end of uranium enrichment, and unilateral US sanctions.

The declassified summary of the report, which draws together information from the US's 16 intelligence agencies, says with "high confidence" that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons programme in 2003 "in response to international pressure".

The assessment says with "moderate confidence" that the programme has not restarted.

This is a turnaround from previous assessments, when US intelligence agencies believed Iran was trying to develop a nuclear weapon.

Iran made "significant progress" in 2007 installing gas centrifuges used to enrich uranium - a process necessary for producing the fissile nuclear material needed to build a nuclear bomb, the report says.

But the report's authors judge with "moderate confidence" that Iran "still faces significant technical problems" operating the new equipment.

And they conclude that the country is not likely to have enough highly enriched uranium to build a bomb until 2010-2015.

Needless to say you cannot trust any report that comes out of Washington (or from any government, for that matter, but Washington is near the bottom of the credibility stakes). And even though it shows the Bush/Cheney administration's desire to bomb Iran has no basis in fact, this will not stop this administration from bombing Iran. Just like every economic statistic "justified" tax cuts (no matter what the news was), every "intelligence" report "justifies" bombing Iran, no matter what the facts are. As with Iraq, the international community is unfortunately sleep-walking towards giving a green light to the Americans to bomb Iran.

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