Iran Halted Nuclear Weapons Program in '03, Unlikely to Develop a Weapon This Decade

This post, written by Amanda Terkel, orignally appeared on Think Progress

A new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released today concludes with "high confidence" that "in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program." From the report's findings:
We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.
We continue to assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapon.
Tehran's decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005.
The intelligence community's 2005 assessment concluded, inaccurately, that "Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons" and "could produce enough fissile material for a weapon by the end of this decade." But as the new NIE finds, Iran is unlikely to achieve this capability until after 2015 "because of foreseeable technical and programmatic problems."

This new NIE is long overdue. It was reportedly completed a year ago, but blocked by the White House. IPS reported:
A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran has been held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community to remove dissenting judgments on the Iranian nuclear programme, and thus make the document more supportive of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's militarily aggressive policy toward Iran.
As ThinkProgress has documented, the White House's manipulation of the Iran NIE bore a striking resemblance to the controversies that played out over pre-war Iraq intelligence.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.