Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gov't official: No 'smoking gun' on Iran

The Jerusalem Post

Israel does not have "smoking gun" intelligence that will force an American reassessment of its National Intelligence Estimate that Iran halted its nuclear weapons plan in 2003, a government official told The Jerusalem Post Monday.

The official's comments came as a delegation from Military Intelligence is in the US for meetings with American officials about Iran.

Another diplomatic official labeled as either "very arrogant" or "naive" the idea that all Israel had to do was reveal one piece of information to get the US intelligence community to say it erred and will "take it all back and follow Israel's line."

The official said it was clear that the Americans pretty much know what Israel knows about the Iranian nuclear program and that the difference is not over the facts but rather over their interpretation.

"If we had information that we held back, then we have only ourselves to blame for the US report," the official said.

According to a government official, there were some positive elements in the NIE report, most importantly its conclusion that Iran did indeed have a weapons program up until 2003. No one, he said, knows the "destiny" of that program.

The official said the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency now must be to investigate and see what came out of that program.

"If Iran wanted to show in 2003 that it had dismantled its program, imagine the international credit it would have received," the official said, adding that Teheran probably chose not to do so "for good reason." ...........

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