Saturday, January 16, 2010
Iran and the nuclear bomb
Pentagon's top intelligence official says there is no evidence that Iran has made a final decision to build nuclear weapons. Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess says the key finding that Iran has not yet committed itself to nuclear weapons, contained in a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), is still valid.
"The bottom line assessments of the NIE still hold true," he said. "We have not seen indication that the government has made the decision to move ahead with the program..."
The 2007 NIE, a consensus judgment of all U.S. intelligence agencies, concluded that Iran halted nuclear weapons design work in 2003.
U.S. intelligence recently concluded that the document published by The Times which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a “neutron initiator” for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication. “The Rupert Murdoch chain has been used extensively to publish false intelligence from the Israelis and occasionally from the British government,” said Philip Giraldi, a CIA counterterrorism official from 1976 to 1992.All Murdoch-owned news media report on Iran with an aggressively pro-Israeli slant.
Yet ,on January 10, the former director-general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, Brigadier-General Uzi Eilam — a general who once commanded Israel’s nuclear weapons force — claimed that Iran is a “very, very, very long way from building a nuclear capability.”