US spies find no hard evidence Iran building bomb: Report

By AFP
Published: February 25, 2012

Earlier, IAEA had warned it had 'serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program.' PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: US intelligence analysts continue to believe there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Citing unnamed US officials, the newspaper said the latest assessments by US spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program.

The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies, the report said.

The report came after the International Atomic Energy Agency warned that it continued to have “serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.”

The Times said there was no dispute among American, Israeli and European intelligence officials that Iran had been enriching nuclear fuel and developing some necessary infrastructure to become a nuclear power.

But the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies believe that Iran has yet to decide whether to resume a parallel program to design a nuclear warhead — a program they believe was essentially halted in 2003, the paper noted.

Intelligence officials and outside analysts believe there is another possible explanation for Iran’s enrichment activity, the report said.

They say that Iran could be seeking to enhance its influence in the region by creating what some analysts call “strategic ambiguity,” the paper noted.

Rather than building a bomb now, Iran may want to increase its power by sowing doubt among other nations about its nuclear ambitions, The Times said.

Some point to the examples of Pakistan and India, both of which had clandestine nuclear weapons programs for decades before they actually decided to build bombs and test their weapons in 1998, the paper noted.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Mir Agha
    Feb 25, 2012 - 10:21PM

    Means about the same as much if they found any evidence: nil. US spies are not to be trusted given their record.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Feb 26, 2012 - 2:00AM

    The New York Times report will not pacify those hotheads like Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. The fear and anxiety they have stoked with their belligerent rhetoric have done enormous damage. The international community wouldn’t have any peace and quiet unless the two verify the report themselves and tell the world, it has been a bad dream.

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