The new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear program is out and it seems to conclude that “Iran’s leaders are locked in an increasingly heated debate over whether to move further toward developing nuclear weapons, saying the bite of international sanctions may be sowing discord,” as the Wall Street Journal tells. Given the simple fact that the publication of parts of the 2007 NIE has prevented another war in the Middle East it is very bad news that there will be no declassified version of the estimate this time. Anyway, the 2007 NIE which has concluded that Iran has halted its military nuclear program in 2003 (“with high confidence”) and which has aroused considerable dismay of former U.S. President G. W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney is now obsolete.
That Iran had tried to build a secret uranium enrichment facility at Fordow near Qom which has been revealed in 2009 can apparently been considered as proof that Iran pursues a nuclear weapon, House Foreign Affairs ranking Democrat Howard Berman told The Cable at Foreign Policy, a remarkably uninformed estimate. The Fordow site had been declared by Iranian officials according to Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations way before being ready for operation. It’s just about Iran not having signed and ratified the Additional Protocol of the treaty.
That Iran lost its interest in the site after it had been revealed is, of course, another story.
Last modified February 17, 2011.