Tuesday, December 04, 2007

U.S. Finds Iran Halted Its Nuclear Arms Effort in 2003

New York Times, December 4, 2007

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, discussed Iran's nuclear program at the White House.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 — A new assessment by American intelligence agencies released Monday concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting a judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.

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Doug Mills/The New York Times

Senator Harry Reid said the assessment was “directly challenging some of this administration’s alarming rhetoric” on Iran.

The conclusions of the new assessment are likely to reshape the final year of the Bush administration, which has made halting Iran’s nuclear program a cornerstone of its foreign policy.

The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran is likely to keep its options open with respect to building a weapon, but that intelligence agencies “do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.”

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