Washington says Iran still pursuing bomb

Discussion in 'Iran' started by toomuchtime_, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. toomuchtime_

    toomuchtime_ Gold Member

    Dec 29, 2008
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    Departing from an intelligence estimate published just over a year ago, the Obama administration maked it clear that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

    The report quoted a news conference this week in which US President Barack Obama cited Iran's "development of a nuclear weapon" before correcting himself and saying that the Islamic Republic was merely "pursuing" the bomb.

    The harsher terminology reflects the degree to which senior US officials have rejected the November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that said Iran had discontinued its military nuclear program in 2003, the report said.

    "When you're talking about negotiations in Iran, it is dangerous to appear weak or naive," said Joseph Cirincione, a nuclear weapons expert and president of an anti-proliferation organization based in Washington, telling the paper that Obama's unambiguous stance insured that he would not be blamed of "underestimating Iran."

    Obama said Monday his administration is looking for opportunities to open direct talks with Iran, but that years of mistrust will be hard to overcome.

    US officials were quoted by the paper as saying the change in policy did not stem from any new evidence but rather from a "growing consensus" that the 2007 report was misleading and did not convey the urgency of the situation - that Iran is on the verge of reaching important milestones towards producing a nuclear bomb.

    Obama's senior intelligence official was slated to address concerns over Teheran's nuclear drive in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

    Departing from NIE, Washington says Iran still pursuing bomb | Iran news | Jerusalem Post

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