Environmentalists Against War
Home | Say NO! To War | Action! | Information | Media Center | Who We Are

 

 

US 'Livid' Over Israel's Intel Leak: Insists Iran Poses No Nuclear Weapons Threat


August 10, 2012
John Glaser / AntiWar.com & Reuters

Following rumors in Israel of a new US intelligence report warning of Iranian progress on a nuclear weapon, US officials told Reuters on Thursday that their intelligence still says Iran is not on the verge of getting nuclear weapons. Officials in Washington were reportedly "livid" with the unilateral Israeli leak of US intelligence, calling it a clear violation of "the rules of the spy game."

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/08/09/despite-israeli-leak-us-intelligence-still-solid-on-irans-lack-of-nuke-program/

Despite Israeli 'Leak' US Intelligence Still Solid on Iran's Lack of Nuke Program
John Glaser / AntiWar.com

(August 9, 2012) -- Following rumors in Israel of a new US intelligence report warning of Iranian progress on a nuclear weapon, US officials told Reuters on Thursday that their intelligence still says Iran is not on the verge of getting nuclear weapons.

Ehud Barak told Israeli news media early Thursday that a new US intelligence report parted ways with earlier estimates finding Iran had no nuclear weapons program. No new or credible evidence was given in these reports of any Iranian weapons program, however.

Officials in Washington were reportedly "livid" with the unilateral Israeli leak of US intelligence. "The rules of the spy game are clear," former US Navy intelligence analyst John Schindler wrote on his blog. "When intelligence services share information, as they do every day, you don't pass it to third parties without clearance. Ever. And if you do, eventually you will get burned and nobody will want to play marbles with you."

But a White House National Security Council spokesman disagreed with Barak's claim that the new US intelligence "transforms the Iranian situation into an even more urgent one." He said the US intelligence assessment of Iran's nuclear activities had not changed from the last National Intelligence Estimate, which concluded that Iran halted its weapons program in 2003.

"We believe that there is time and space to continue to pursue a diplomatic path, backed by growing international pressure on the Iranian government," the spokesman said. "We continue to assess that Iran is not on the verge of achieving a nuclear weapon."

White House spokesman Jay Carney reiterated this, saying the Obama administration is focusing on economic sanctions and diplomacy with Iran. He also refused to discuss any rumors about new intelligence assessments.

The incident underscored the apparent distrust between the Obama administration and that of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Despite record levels of economic and military aid to Israel under Obama, as well as consistent diplomatic support even of Israel's worst crimes against the Palestinians, the Israelis continue be unhappy with Obama's support and continue to pressure for a US war with Iran.

In the meantime, Obama has refused to launch a military strike on Iran's non-existent weapons program, but he has given in to Israeli pressure to impose economic warfare on Iran.

After extremely severe economic sanctions on Iran's oil and banking sectors, Iranian civilians are being subjected to high unemployment, rampant inflation and food shortages, and even dramatically less access to vital pharmaceuticals and medical treatment. Some estimate the sanctions could end up killing tens of thousands of Iranians.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.



US Still Believes Iran Not on Verge of Nuclear Weapon
Reuters

(August 9, 2012) -- The United States still believes that Iran is not on the verge of having a nuclear weapon and that Tehran has not made a decision to pursue one, US officials said on Thursday.

Their comments came after Israeli media reports claimed US President Barack Obama had received a new National Intelligence Estimate saying Iran had made significant and surprising progress toward military nuclear capability.

Later, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak suggested that the new US report, which he acknowledged might be something other than a National Intelligence Estimate, "transforms the Iranian situation into an even more urgent one."

But a White House National Security Council spokesman disputed the Israeli reports, saying the US intelligence assessment of Iran's nuclear activities had not changed since intelligence officials delivered testimony to Congress on the issue earlier this year.

"We believe that there is time and space to continue to pursue a diplomatic path, backed by growing international pressure on the Iranian government," the spokesman said. "We continue to assess that Iran is not on the verge of achieving a nuclear weapon."

US officials would not directly comment on whether there was a new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which is a compilation of views of the various US intelligence agencies.

The last formal NIE on Iran in 2007, partially made public by the administration of President George W. Bush, became highly controversial because it said Tehran had halted nuclear weaponization work in 2003, although other aspects of the overall program continued. A later update to that report retained that central assessment, sources have previously said.

James Clapper, US director of national intelligence, said in congressional testimony in January: "We assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons, in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons."

Another US official said the United States regularly exchanges intelligence reporting with its allies, which would include Israel.

The United States has been concerned that Israel may conduct a unilateral strike on Iran's nuclear sites, adding to turmoil in the Middle East.

Israel sees an atomic armed Iran as a threat to its existence and there is persistent speculation over whether it will launch a pre-emptive military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Tehran denies it is trying to build nuclear bombs, saying it is enriching uranium only for peaceful purposes.

Washington has tightened sanctions on Iran and sought to ramp up international diplomatic pressure to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Barak told Israel Radio: "There probably really is such an American intelligence report -- I don't know if it is an NIE one -- making its way around senior offices (in Washington)."

"As far as we know it brings the American assessment much closer to ours ... it makes the Iranian issue even more urgent and (shows it is) less clear and certain that we will know everything in time about their steady progress toward military nuclear capability."

Israel, widely believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, says little time remains before Iran achieves a "zone of immunity" in which Israeli bombs would be unable to penetrate deeply buried uranium enrichment facilities.

Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria and Mark Hosenball in Washington and Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem. Editing by Warren Strobel and Christopher Wilson)

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.



back

 

 

Stay Connected
Sign up to receive our weekly updates. We promise not to sell, trade or give away your email address.
Email Address:
Full Name:
 

 

Search Environmentalists Against War website

 

Home | Say NO! To War | Action! | Information | Media Center | Who We Are