Iran ceased any efforts to design a nuclear warhead or covertly enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels in 2003 and has no current nuclear weapons program. Those were the conclusions of last year’s National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran.
The NIE was an authoritative assessment of the coordinated judgments of the entire United States intelligence apparatus. The report frustrated US hawks who hoped to parlay fear over Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program into a justification for regime change, and was condemned by Israeli officials as a lie. Despite the NIE’s declassification over a year ago, US officials continue to accuse Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons.
Speaking to a small group of reporters Dr. Thomas Fingar, the outgoing chairman of the National Intelligence Council, defended the reports findings, adding that he believes Iran has not diverted any of the low-enriched uranium for its soon-to-be-completed nuclear power plant to weapons use. The IAEA has repeatedly certified the same, but officials still portray Iran’s civilian enrichment program as dangerous.
Dr. Fingar says he still stands behind the report, and believes that Iran has not made any decision to pursue nuclear weapons, in spite of President-elect Obama’s claims to the contrary and reports that the Israeli military is preparing to attack Iran, ostensibly to halt the program.